Sweden pushing for human rights online

Internet freedom is one of the top priorities of Swedish foreign policy. Everyone should be free to think and say what they want – on the internet too. This is far from the reality in many countries. Today representatives from more than 90 countries are meeting in Stockholm to discuss how internet freedom and openness can promote human rights and social and economic development worldwide.

On 22-23 May, the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) is being held for the second time. The conference uses an informal format that aims to promote dialogue and interaction and it draws a great deal of interest, bringing together over 400 activists, experts, politicians and representatives of business and society from more than 90 countries. More than half of this year’s participants are from middle- or low-income countries.

The number of people online is expected to jump from just under two billion to five billion within a few years. For the Swedish Government, internet freedom is a high priority issue, based on the premise that human rights must be respected both online and offline.

A free and open internet can have many positive effects on human rights as well as democracy, entrepreneurship and global development. These issues will be discussed under the themes of freedom and security, and freedom and development.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson and Minister for Information Technology and Energy Anna-Karin Hatt will be representing the Swedish Government. Mr Bildt is also hosting the conference.

Stockholm Internet Forum online

Digital curators will be at the conference to enable people to participate in the conference online. The digital curators will monitor and pick up on conference-related content to share on the conference website, making it participator-generated.

The Stockholm Internet Forum will be webcast live in its entirety on the Forum website: www.stockholminternetforum.se.

It will also be possible to interact with the conference via Twitter at #sif13.

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Contacts:

Erik Zsiga
Press Secretary to Carl Bildt
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Mobile cell +46 72 573 91 30

Teo Zetterman
E-Diplomacy Coordinator, Deputy Director
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Mobile cell +46 708 10 73 47

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