Article 19 Call for Applications Internet of Rights Fellowship

Article 19 Call for Applications Internet of Rights Fellowship

Since 2014, ARTICLE 19 (A19) has been a pioneer in introducing and strengthening human rights
considerations in the design, development, and deployment of Internet infrastructure technologies by participating in global Internet governance bodies where technical standards and policy development happens.

In doing so, A19 has carved out pathways for civil society engagement in these bodies; however, there remains the need for greater, more diverse, and more sustainable civil society participation. In its seventh year, the IoR Fellowship will equip and support a diverse community of advocates working on behalf of civil society with the tools they need to carry out long-term engagement to
set the technical policies and standards that define the global Internet.

About the IoR Fellowship

The general goals of the IoR Fellowship are:

  • To protect and promote freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy, and other human
    rights in key Internet technical standards and policy bodies.

  • To bridge the knowledge gap in these bodies regarding human rights and their relevance to
    Internet infrastructure.

  • To support sustained and effective participation of civil society advocates in Internet technical standards and policy bodies.

  • To support and champion the consideration of underrepresented people and communities in
    decision-making processes within these bodies.

    The Fellowship runs for 12 months, beginning on April 1, 2023. During this year, each fellow will work closely with their mentor—a designated member of A19’s Team Digital. All fellows follow one of three tracks: Censorship, Connectivity, or Datafication.

    Upon selection, fellows work with their A19 mentor to develop a workplan and schedule. The Fellowship
    is designed to be flexible and dynamic to account for each fellow’s skills, interests, and experience. In line with the workplan, mentors will provide assistance such as advocacy coordination, support during meetings, ad hoc training, and in-depth research collaboration. Mentors will also facilitate fellows’ inclusion in global and regional networks of experts and activists working on digital rights and Internet
    governance issues, including current and former fellows.

    This aspect of the programme is intended to further develop fellows’ capacities and knowledge in certain fields of Internet infrastructure and human rights. The Fellowship will cover any costs associated with attending these meetings and/or conferences.

    Fellows are expected to commit to an average of eight hours per week engaging in forum-specific
    discussions, participating in working groups, completing projects and producing monthly progress reports.

    In return, fellows will receive a monthly honorarium of USD 300 for the duration of their fellowship. In addition, fellows may request an additional fixed “technology allowance” to cover IT costs to improve fellows’ remote meeting participation, on an as-needed basis.

    2023-2024 Fellowship Tracks

    This year, A19 is soliciting applications for the following tracks:

  • Censorship: This track focuses on participation in the development of technical standards and policies that improve resilience to censorship and communications security. IoR fellow(s) may engage in technical discussions related to routing protocols that determine how data moves from source to destination within and across IP-enabled networks, contribute to networking protocols to address vulnerabilities exploited by censors, or work with internet infrastructure providers such as internet registries to address content moderation issues at the DNS level. Fellows may participate in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), or the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

  • Connectivity: This track focuses on ensuring all people have choices in how they connect to the
    internet, particularly local communities dependent on last-mile networking technologies and
    infrastructure. IoR fellow(s) may advocate for spectrum management standards and policy
    frameworks that support small, non-profit, and alternative service providers or improve wireless
    networking standards to better enable community network provision. Fellows
    may participate in
    the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802 working groups or the
    International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

  • Datafication: This track focuses on advocating for human rights in discussions of data-driven
    infrastructure technologies such as facial recognition, emotion recognition, and other
    biometric-based systems and the internet of things (IoT). IoR fellow(s) may engage in groups working on the standardisation of specific biometric or “AI” technologies or participate in the development of conformity assessments for the deployment of smart cities infrastructures.

    Fellows may participate in technical standards developing organisations such as the Institute for
    Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Organization for Standardization
    and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC), or the European Committee for
    Standardization and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CEN/CENELEC).

    We also welcome applicants to suggest other standards developing organisations at the global or regional level as part of their work plan that fit within the general goals of one of the three tracks listed above.


    We are looking for the following qualities:

  • Technical competence. While this may include knowledge of and experience in computer Networking and protocols, systems design, and architecture, it is recommended but not necessary. We are looking for candidates who are capable of digesting complex or difficult concepts in technical policies or standards and explaining them to a wider audience.

  • Some prior experience of participating in Internet governance bodies, and/or in-depth
    knowledge of the Internet governance processes and, where possible, the specific standards or
    protocols that are relevant to the applicant’s workplan proposal.

  • Examples of broad, intersectional experience include: taking part in public policy consultations on local and/or regional levels regarding universal connectivity and Internet access; engaging in academic research on internet infrastructure and governance as part of undergraduate or graduate studies; engaging in
    research related projects with country-code top level domains (ccTLDs) or partaking in the ICANN
    fellowship or NextGen@ICANN Program.

  • Strong research, writing, and speaking skills in English. The program will be conducted
    entirely in English and will require fellows to attend highly technical, fast-paced meetings where
    English is the working language.

  • A clear commitment to protecting and promoting human rights and Internet freedom.

    By the end of the programme, we expect that fellows will be well-equipped to continue their engagement in Internet technical standards and policy bodies following the conclusion of their fellowship. Through their projects, fellows will gain a deeper understanding of Internet governance and Internet infrastructure, and how to effectively explain infrastructure technologies and their relevance to human rights to a wider

    Past Projects From the Fellowship Include:

  • aking an active role in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Global
    Initiative and contributing to the development of the IEEE’s Ethically Aligned Design.

  • Working on censorship resistance and privacy enhancements through networking protocols at the
    Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

  • Participating in expert groups on DNS abuse to address content moderation at the DNS level at
    the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

  • Scoping case studies of deployed community networks and working with Member States to
    support the role of community network operators at the International Telecommunication Union

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Article 19 Call for Applications Internet of Rights Fellowship

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