[IRPCoalition] Self-Nomination Statement: Santosh Sigdel

Santosh Sigdel santoshsigdel at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 05:38:00 EET 2021

Dear IRPC Members,

With the utmost commitments to the rights and principles relating to the
Internet, I had nominated myself as the candidate for the member of the
IRPC Steering Committee. I am a human rights lawyer and rights advocate
from the South-Asian Country Nepal. I have been engaged in promoting
digital rights and internet principles for many years.

I have engaged in policy review, capacity building, awareness, coalition
building for promoting digital rights. I led a research on "Freedom of
Expression on the Internet in Nepal", which is the first such report in the
context of Nepal. Similarly, I was engaged with the Internet Society Nepal,
a local civil society organization and Nepal chapter of the "Internet
Society (ISOC) and led the organization in different capacities, including
as the Chairperson. I convened many events, training, seminars and was
engaged in organizing "Nepal Internet Governance Forum (NepalIGF), Nepal
School on Internet Government (NPSIG) and seminars on freedom of
expression, privacy and data protection. I am also engaged with the
Asia-Pacific Regional IGF (APRIGF). Further, I have been closely associated
with and a member of the Asia-Pacific School of Internet Governance (APSIG).

In the policy level, I have reviewed many policy documents, in the context
of Nepal, relating to digital rights from the human rights perspective. I
also reviewed the draft Information Technology Bill and provided inputs to
the members of the parliament to introduce amendment proposals on the bill.
Currently the bill is in the parliament. I also reviewed the draft of the
"Individual Privacy Bill" and organized events with the civil society to
raise concerns on the proposed provision of the Bill. Similarly, I have
brought a number of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court
on Nepal. In a successful right to privacy writ petition, the court ordered
the government to bring the privacy law immediately, whereas a writ
petition against the Online Media Operation Guideline is still subjudice in
the court.

I have obtained a master's degree in law (LL.M) from the Central European
University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary. I have closely worked with the civil
society organizations and networks in Nepal. I have also worked with
International organizations such as UNDP, CARE, International Center for
Transitional Justice (ICT), Article19 and FHI 360. I am founding chair of
the "Digital Rights Nepal", a civil society initiative to promote digital

The role and responsibilities I would carry out as a member of the IRPC
steering committee will largely be shaped by the objectives, policies and
priorities set by the Coalition itself. Nevertheless, I see following as
possible areas that I can contribute:

-        *Awareness raising:* It is necessary to raise awareness about the
internet rights and principles among the stakeholders, around the world,
South Asian region and in Nepal. With growing dependence on the internet,
the risks towards the open, secure, accessible and affordable internet has
also increased. Thus, it is necessary to raise awareness among stakeholders
about the internet rights and principles.

-        *Capacity Building,* Along with awareness it is also important to
build capacity of the stakeholders. This is not only about the technical
capacity but the capacity in terms of pursuing authorities and stakeholders
about values, principles around digital rights. Due to lack of capacity to
engage in the policy processes countries have adopted laws that trumps the
freedom of expression and opinion, privacy, data protection. Thus, it is
important to build the capacity of the stakeholders and I can play an
important role in this front.

-        *Represent the Coalition to stakeholders including the government,
CSOs network, *It is important to make the IRPC visible in every country
and region where it participates in the policy processes; engage with the
CSOs and network, provide technical assistance etc. In this front, I think
my role representing the Coalition in the region would be very important.

-        *Promoting the Internet rights and Principles, *One of the major
objectives of the Coalition is to promote internet rights and principles.
As a SC member, my role would be to share about the rights and principles
in forums, during policy discourse, through capacity building and by
involving with other CSOs and networks.

-        *Policy review and analysis, *I believe that IRPC should be more
active in reviewing the international, national and regional frameworks,
policies, guidelines from the perspective of internet rights and
principles. International and regional instruments such as GDPR, or
cyber-crime convention or rules for digital platforms should be reviewed
and analyzed whether they are consistent with the internet rights and
principles or not. I see my role contributing in such policy review and

-        *Institutional strengthening:* I also see my role in the
activities relating to strengthening the IRPC/IRPC Secretariat. I will be
involved in meetings, activities and also be part of any initiative geared
towards that.

*I would like to sincerely thank all the members who seconded my
nomination. No matter, I am on the steering committee or not, I am looking
forward to working closely with the IRPC in promoting internet rights and
principles. *

With best regards,

Santosh Sigdel

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:04 PM Michael J. Oghia <mike.oghia at gmail.com>

> Thank you very much Eileen!
> And as a reminder to all candidates whose nominations or self-nominations
> have been seconded (Mohamed, June, Marianne, and Raashi), please submit a
> candidate statement to the IRPC list as well.
> In case I overlooked anyone's nomination or self-nomination, please do
> flag it as I may have missed an email over the holiday period.
> Best,
> -Michael
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 1:46 PM Eileen Cejas <eileencejas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi everyone, happy new year.
>> I second Raashi's nomination. She is a very active young person in the IG
>> community, having represented us in several instances, to name some of
>> them, last year included the Youth4DigitalSustainability program and We The
>> Internet in India. To give a bit of background on her bio, Raashi is a
>> member of the Scientific Committee with Missions Publiques, she currently
>> works on rebuilding structures with citizens on matters pertaining to
>> Internet Universality and Governance. Raashi has been a speaker at several
>> international forums such as UN Internet Governance Forum, RightsCon, World
>> Learning events, Campus Party and Communities & Technologies for her
>> valuable contributions in the Internet Governance Space. Her capacity
>> building & advocacy efforts in digital rights, gender rights and youth
>> participation have strengthened the Internet freedom movement in several
>> parts of India.
>> Best regards,
>> *Eileen Cejas*
>> Criminal Lawyer/Regional Engagement Director- Latin America and the
>> Caribbean for Youth Observatory
>> Websites:*www.eileencejas.com <http://www.eileencejas.com>, *
>> *https://youthsig.org* <https://youthsig.org>
>> *-------------------------------*
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