Purpose: This Public Comment seeks community input on the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Work Stream 2 (CCWG-Accountability, WS2) draft Framework of Interpretation for Human Rights. This draft was developed by the CCWG-Accountability as required by Annex 12 of the final report of the CCWG-Accountability, Work Stream 1.
Current Status: The CCWG-Accountability reviewed this draft at its 25 April 2017 plenary meeting and approved its publication to gather public comments.
Next Steps: Following the public comment period the inputs will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability WS2 who will consider amending the Framework in light of the comments received and will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If significant changes are required as a result of the public consultation the CCWG-Accountability WS2 may opt to have a second public consultation on the amended Framework. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 will forward the final Framework of Interpretation for Human Rights to its Chartering Organizations for approval and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.
Section I: Description and Explanation
The CCWG-Accountability's final report for Work Stream 1 (WS1), Recommendation 12 proposed that a number of topics which were not essential for the transition to take place and that could not be completed in WS1 (due to time constraints of the transition) be undertaken in a Work Stream 2 (WS2) effort by the CCWG-Accountability. This recommendation was approved by the CCWG-Accountability's Chartering Organizations as well as the ICANN Board at its 10 March 2016 meeting. Annex 12 of the final report required:
- Developing and clarifying a Framework of Interpretation for ICANN's Human Rights commitment and proposed Draft Bylaw. As part of its standard processes the CCWG-Accountability will seek public input on all its proposed recommendations.
Section II: Background
The subject of including a commitment to respect Human Rights in the ICANN Bylaws was extensively discussed by the CCWG-Accountability.
The CCWG-Accountability sought legal advice on whether, upon the termination of the IANA Functions Contract between ICANN and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), ICANN's specific Human Rights obligations could be called into question. It was found that, upon termination of the contract, there would be no significant impact on ICANN's Human Rights obligations. However, the CCWG-Accountability reasoned that a commitment to respect Human Rights should be included in ICANN's Bylaws in order to comply with the NTIA criteria to maintain the openness of the Internet.
This draft Bylaw on Human Rights reaffirms ICANN's existing obligations within its Core Values, and clarifies ICANN's commitment to respect Human Rights.
Amendments to the proposed draft Bylaw text since the Second Draft Proposal aimed to prevent Mission expansion or "Mission creep," and under the Bylaw, ICANN commits to respect internationally recognized Human Rights "within its Core Values."
The proposed Bylaw does not impose any enforcement duty on ICANN, or any obligation on ICANN to take action in furtherance of the Bylaw.
The Bylaw also clarifies that no Independent Review Process (IRP) challenges can be made on the grounds of this Bylaw until a Framework of Interpretation on Human Rights (FOI-HR) is developed and approved as part of Work Stream 2 activities. It further clarifies that acceptance of the FOI-HR will require the same process as for Work Stream 1 recommendations (as agreed for all Work Stream 2 recommendations).
Section III: Relevant Resources
Report and Supporting Documents
- CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 – Proposed Framework of Interpretation and Considerations concerning ICANN's Human Rights Bylaw – https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/proposed-foi-hr-04apr17-en.pdf [PDF, 118 KB]
- CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 – Human Rights Subgroup wiki – https://community.icann.org/display/WEIA/Human+Rights
- CCWG-Accountability Charter - https://community.icann.org/display/acctcrosscomm/Charter
- CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 1 – Final recommendations Annex 12 - https://community.icann.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=58723827