Digital Human Rights in Metropolises: A Global and Local Challenge


Digital technologies are ubiquitous and invisibly cross boundaries. They increasingly and systematically affect the social ‘fabric’ of societies worldwide. Digital technologies and internet access have a tremendous potential to contribute to addressing inequalities, but also exacerbate them when not well governed. “Digital human rights” are interpreted as existing human rights which also need to be protected in the context of digital technologies. In cities and metropolitan areas, governments must deal with spatial equity also on the digital space, so the policies ensure that opportunities, services, and infrastructure are accessible. Cities also need to expand their capacities to be prepared and equipped to lead digital transformation strategies that are people-centric and support sustainable urbanisation for the public good.


Metropolises appear when the functional systems of a territory exceed administrative boundaries and inhabitants connect with different jurisdictions to access opportunities, goods, services, and infrastructure. Many of them have successfully addressed the urgency to protect citizens from the possible negative effect of emerging technologies. The metropolitan scale is often the most appropriate one to deal with issues that are essential to the lives of individuals and communities and to address global issues.


During this roundtable session, experts involved in the Digital Rights Governance Framework project will elaborate on best-case scenarios of local protection of human rights against the negative scenario of no regulation on this topic, considering cross-border effects. Each expert will elaborate on the topic of digital human rights and metropolises, and a discussion led by a Moderator from the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights will follow.




  • Davi Rossiter, Municipality of Maceió
  • Antonio Carvalho e Silva Neto, Municipality of Maceió
  • Paula Boet Serrano, Cities Coalition for Digital Rights
  • Susan Qu, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cambridge University
  • Gala Camacho, Founding Member and Data Scientist, Diagonal


When? 7 October, 12:30-13:30

Where? Online - Participate using this link


Organised by Cities Coalition for Digital Rights