Self-nomination to the IRPC Steering Committee

Meri Baghdasaryan meri.baghdasaryan at
Sun Jan 23 04:07:20 EET 2022

 Dear IRPC members,

I hope my message finds everyone well and safe! 

Hereby I’d like to nominate myself as a candidate for IRPC steering committee member. I am an attorney from Armenia with considerable experience in international human rights litigation, research and consulting, and in the last five years I have been working on human rights issues at the intersection of law and technology. 

Currently, I am a Legal Fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Prior to joining EFF, I conducted strategic human rights litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee and the Constitution Court of Armenia. Moreover, I served as a human rights consultant for UNDP Armenia and the Council of Europe. In addition, I was a Legal Fellow at Wikimedia Foundation, conducting research on a wide range of legal and policy topics. 

My Internet Governance (IG) journey started as an ISOC Youth at IGF2016 Fellow, and I became an IPRC member the same year. Since then I have been extensively engaged in various IG communities. I am a member of SEEDIG and EuroDIG communities, former YCIG Steering Committee member for the Eastern European group, and editor of the SEESummary, covering digital policy and IG developments in South Eastern Europe and the neighboring area (SEE+). In 2020, I co-lead SEEDIG’s inter-sessional project, mapping COVID-19 tracking apps in SEE+ and their human rights implications in the region.  

Moreover, I was a member of the 2020 cohort of the Open Internet Leaders for Democracy program, a NextGen at ICANN72 and ARIN48 fellow. I  have an LL.M from University of Pennsylvania Law School (Intellectual property and technology concentration), and LL.M in Human rights from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). 

That said, as an IRPC Steering Committee member, I envision to undertake the following roles and responsibilities:

Mapping regulatory initiatives around the world: The recent years have witnessed a significant increase of regulatory proposals to regulate online activities, some of which threaten to have an adverse impact on online human rights.  What is more, as we have seen, bad and worse laws have the tendency to be replicated faster. Therefore, I propose working with IRPC members from around the world to author a world map of such regulatory initiatives. This would serve as an awareness raising tool, as well as a resource for advocacy groups to see the corresponding trends and unite forces to demand better human rights safeguards.

Capacity building, especially for the next generation of digital rights advocates: I strongly believe in capacity building and mentorship activities. Having served as a YCIG steering committee member, I envision implementing a program specifically targeting nextgenners and early career digital rights advocates to develop the knowledge and skills to better navigate the IG ecosystem and effectively represent human rights based solutions. 

Fostering IRPC representation in various regional IGFs and digital rights events: Building on the outstanding work of the current and former IRPC Steering Committee members and Chairs, I envision having IPRC represented in as many fora as possible, including exploring those discussions that IRPC has not previously participated in. 

Continue working more closely with other DCs: I envision strengthening the work with other DCs, including designing and implementing joint projects and initiatives.

Hence, having dedicated my whole career to human rights protection, and having admired IRPC’s work since my first days in IG, I’d be honored to put my background, knowledge, and skills to a good use as an IRPC Steering Committee member.

Thank you very much and best regards,

Meri Baghdasaryan

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