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paunova panelOn the 10th December 2015, on the Human Rights Day, an international conference on the topic of human rights of Internet users was held in Sofia. The event was organized by the Applied Research and Communications Fund, the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Council of Europe and dedicated to the Bulgaria's Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

Over 20 experts from different professional fields, such as business, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, as well as independent experts from Bulgaria and other countries in Europe, participated in the conference. The forum begun with addresses from MEP Eva Paunova and Grigor Porojanov, head of the “International economic relations” Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the forum the “Guide to Human Rights of Internet Users” of the Council of Europe and the international campaign “No Hate Speech” were presented. Other presentations included the topics of data protection and privacy of Internet users, the freedom of expression and its conflict with the rights of other users, media standards, the role of Internet giants, such as Facebook, the obstacles in front of the law enforcing institutions in user protection and others.

panel conference 2During the final plenary discussion different opinions were voiced on the ways and means of implementing the recommendations of the Council of Europe for protection of the human rights of users online, the responsibility for which is shared between governments, business and the users themselves.

The forum was streamed live online and was watched by over 400 users.