Smart cities and human rights – Pitfalls and opportunities

June 24, 2022 1:00 pm
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The explosion in digital technologies is playing a major role in shaping cities – from Internet of Things to digital platforms for service delivery and 5G for autonomous mobility. The challenge is now to set a responsible direction that favors inclusive, resilient and sustainable use of technologies by local governments.

These technologies, if governed responsibly, can contribute to sustainable development. Yet, in the absence of public oversight and accountability in line with international human rights standards, data on individuals and communities are being extensively recorded, often by private companies, raising concerns around privacy, surveillance, and participation of stakeholders.

Taking into consideration the human rights deliverables under the UN Secretary’s Call for Action, the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, we need to ensure rights-respecting ecosystem of smart city projects.

The workshop aims to identify good practices of smart city projects in Chile and Switzerland that realize human rights and recommend measures that could be envisaged more generally by the Human Rights Council and other intergovernmental bodies.


Keynote address


  • Mr Sami Kanaan, Deputy Mayor of Geneva and President, Geneva Cities Hub


  • Ms Radka Sibille, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations Office at Geneva
  • Prof. Alberto Coddou, Universidad Austral de Chile
  • Mr. Peter Micek, Access Now
  • Dr. Isabel Ebert, University of St. Gallen, Adviser OHCHR B-Tech Project
  • Dr. Sebastian Smart, Universidad Austral de Chile



Moderation: H.E. Ms Claudia Fuentes Julio, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Welcome remarks:  Mr Andràs Szörényi, Senior Policy Advisor, Geneva Cities Hub





Please follow the link to register.