The COE-FRA-ENNHRI-EQUINET Collaborative Platform on Social and Economic Rights will hold its 13th meeting on 28 September 2023 in Helsinki, Finland.
The meeting will focus on social rights in the age of digitalization, taking stock of the risks of misuse of AI and its potential negative impact on social rights. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of new technologies on the labour market, on access to social services and on how to ensure a digitally inclusive society.
The main objectives of the meeting are:
to discuss the impact of new technologies on the labour market and the emergence of new forms of work (access to the labour market, new forms of work, working conditions, inclusive digital society in relation to job opportunities);
to discuss the digitalisation of social protection systems and its impact on access to social services;
to discuss how to ensure equal access to digital tools, services and education for persons vulnerable to social and digital exclusion such as children with migrant background, Roma, persons with disabilities, older persons and persons living in poverty;
to discuss the role of human rights defenders in the prevention, mitigation, and oversight of the human rights impacts of digital technologies and their capacity to suggest possible policy-level responses to mitigate the negative impact of digitalisation on social rights.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published several reports that highlight how AI can impact on fundamental rights and how these challenges need to be addressed. Similarly, the European Committee of Social Rights has addressed issues such as social security coverage for persons whose work is managed through digital platforms, online harassment related to work, or fair remuneration for workers in atypical jobs, those employed in the gig or platform economy, and workers with zero hours contracts.
In this context, effective and independent national human rights institutions and equality bodies have a critical role to play in the prevention, mitigation, and oversight of the human rights impacts of digital technologies. Some of them have taken initiatives to increase their capacities to tackle human rights issues arising from the use of AI systems and to raise public awareness on the potential and risks of AI for human rights and social rights in particular.
The event will bring together representatives of the Council of Europe, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, national human rights institutions, national equality bodies and civil society actors active in promoting and defending social rights.