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US Mission Geneva Launches 2012 Internet Freedom Fellows Program
February 3, 2012

The U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva is seeking dynamic and creative journalists and/or human rights activists for the 2012 Internet Freedom Fellows Program, repeating the successful program it ran in 2011.  Ideal candidates are individuals whose work demonstrates the importance of a free internet to the promotion and defense of human rights and freedom of expression.

The Internet Freedom Fellows program, operated by the Public Affairs Section at US Mission Geneva in cooperation with the U.S. Delegation to the Human Rights Council, brings human rights activists from across the globe to Geneva, Washington and, funding permitted, Silicon Valley to meet with U.S. and international government, civil society and private sector leaders in the fields of technology and human rights.  The program will take place June 18-29 during the 20th session of the Human Rights Council.

As in 2011, the principal goal of the program in 2012 is simple — to underscore the essential importance of a free internet to the promotion of human rights at the grass roots level.  By identifying and involving grass roots human rights activists from around the world, the program will highlight in a tangible manner why and how a free internet is essential to their work.

This year, to recognize the important interplay between global networks and individual freedoms, the program will feature greater involvement from civil society and technology companies to emphasize how diverse actors can and must work together to protect individual freedoms on the internet in the support of Human Rights.

In Geneva the program will include meetings with diplomats, representatives from the UN and civil society involved in human rights and internet freedom issues and several public events, including a live-streamed event at the United Nations on internet freedom with an active global social media component as well as a one-day symposium, the “Internet Freedom Forum,” at the U.S. Mission. The Washington and Silicon Valley programs, similar to the Geneva program, will include meetings with key US, civil society and private sector representatives in the fields of human rights and technology, as well as public events.