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July 17, 2024

CITAD, global advocates sue for regulation of AI to protect human rights

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in partnership with a group of organizations and advocates from around the world are pushing for the establishment of a future where all citizens of the global digital ecosystem can enjoy equal rights to safety, freedom, and dignity.

In a recent address at the High Level Side Event of the 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council, High Commissioner Türk stressed the need for a global agreement on regulating artificial intelligence (AI) that aligns with universal human rights and rule of law frameworks, convened by the United Nations.

The call for the regulatory framework was contained in a statement that was jointly signed and made available to newsmen by CITAD and other global advocates.

The High Commissioner emphasized that a human rights framework would serve as a crucial foundation to guide efforts in harnessing the vast potential of AI while mitigating its significant risks.

To achieve this, the advocates proposed a comprehensive approach that involves the incorporation of human rights considerations throughout AI’s entire life cycle.

They assert that regulations should mandate the assessment of the human rights risks and impacts of AI systems before, during, and after their deployment.

Furthermore, the group emphasizes the importance of listening to the voices of those affected by AI technologies, as well as those who have dedicated years to identifying and responding to the potential harms.

They particularly highlighted the need to include women, minority groups, and marginalized individuals in discussions on AI governance, as these groups are often disproportionately affected by bias in AI systems.

Another critical aspect of their call for regulation is the focus on AI applications in public and private services, where there is a heightened risk of abuse of power or privacy intrusions.

The areas mentioned include justice, law enforcement, migration, social protection, and financial services. To ensure compliance with international human rights law, the advocates propose the banning or suspension of AI technologies that cannot meet adequate safeguards.

The group also stresses the importance of implementing existing regulations and safeguards, such as data protection frameworks, competition law, and sectoral regulations in health, tech, or financial markets.

They express concern over the AI industry’s self-regulation claims and argue that the applicable legal framework must be defined through a democratic process involving all stakeholders.

The advocates further urge companies to uphold their responsibilities in respecting human rights, as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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