08:30 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:30 WELCOME REMARKS
First Panel: Small states as equal partners
09:30 – 11:00
That small states account for the majority of UN member states confirms the increasing importance of their voice in international relations. As small states often cannot make themselves heard, they should take full advantage of one of their strengths – the ability to engage in effective cooperation.
Small states that are not burdened by an excessive state bureaucracy can be practical and flexible and adjust dynamically to change. This makes them effective partners for bigger states, because they bring with them new ideas.
Nothing threatens small states more than utter disregard for international law. But to protect this law, joint efforts are needed. If the rights of small states and of their people are to be protected, small states have to be emphatic in raising this issue in international fora. Estonia understand the need for small states to work together and is prepared to represent and protect the rights of all small states on the international stage, including as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Second Panel: Do human rights have a future?
11:20 – 12:50
Traditional human rights are being forced into the background in a world where intolerance is raising its head and extremist populists are entering the political scene. Do human rights need new regulation? Is the emergence of populistic confrontation, disrespect for other people’s vies, and a xenophobic and misogynous world view a sign that human rights organisations should look for new synergies among international and domestic human rights?
Human rights are far more than a political platform – in today’s world, they must be considered as geopolitical, technological, cultural and national strategies that provide a guarantee for free and equal development. Moreover, the protection of human rights faces new challenges in the form of security threats: terrorism, disregard for international law and uncontrolled illegal migration that also entails human trafficking.
While states on the one hand must provide security for their populations under these new circumstances, they also cannot themselves pose new threats to human rights. These are the greatest challenges in protecting democratic values.
Third Panel: Algorithms and human rights
13:40 – 15:10
The right to respect for privacy and family life is a universal fundamental right guaranteed under Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
But what is your profile on the Internet based on algorithms, that is, automated data processing methods? How do algorithms determine who you are, what choices you make and how you may be influenced?
The line between algorithmic recommendations and decisions is becoming increasingly blurred, resulting in automated decisions for which no one wants to assume liability. Digital technologies are already affecting our understanding, for example of the right to life, the right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence, the right to respect for private life, freedom of expression, the right to free elections and even the principles underlying the rule of law.
Who is responsible for human rights violations where a decision has been made by an algorithm? The person who programmed the algorithm, the person who controls it or the person who executes the decision? How can we preserve and protect human rights in the face of ever more pervasive digital technologies that are taking over control and control over our decisions. Do new technologies give human rights any consideration at all?
Fourth Panel: I believe in Russia’s Future
15:30 – 17:00
Russia is an land of enormous opportunities. However, all these opportunities have been drowned in nostalgia and a belief in a special mission. This has demanded enormous resources, as well as resulted in much suffering both inside and outside the Russian borders. And yet, Russia has the opportunity to break free of this vicious cycle and develop into a democratic European state. Is there…
2017Are Human Rights in Freefall?The conference will address a number of today’s most important topics – terrorism, technological development, security, small states in a globalising world, culture and international cooperation – through a human rights perspective.
2016Black and White Values in a Polarizing WorldThe topics under discussion this year include a survey of public opinion on human rights among the Estonian citizens and foreigners living in Estonia, questions related to collective human rights and propaganda that have changed people’s understanding of basic rights.
2015Human Rights in Changing TimesThe topics under discussion this year include case studies from the European Court of Human Rights, linguistic human rights, as well as the views of various generations of Russians today regarding their society.
2014Dignity in the context of human rightsThis year the conference agenda included three keynotes and a panel discussion following each one: 1) guarantees under international law; 2) rights of native peoples; guarantees under international law; 3) the situation and future in Russia and Ukraine and human rights.
2013Human Rights and the Freedom to AssociationThis year’s annual conference, titled “Human Rights and the Freedom of Association” will analyse the global developments in human rights that have taken place in 2013.
2012New Challenges of Human RightsOur conference examined human rights where the internet and the concept of security have altered dramatically our 20th century understanding of the core issues of human rights.
2011Dedicated to the 20th anniversary of restoration of independence of Estonia