Video On Demand

Blockchain Technology: Human Rights Risks & Opportunities

December 15, 2021 • 12:30 – 1:30 pm EST

Please join the CSIS Human Rights Initiative and Strategic Technologies Program on Wednesday, December 15 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST for the launch of a new report: The Human Rights Risks and Opportunities in Blockchain.

Blockchain technology has been proposed as a potential answer to a variety of human rights challenges, from ease of access to voting and identity-based service delivery to land rights protections and supply chain traceability. As this report reveals, however, blockchain alone is almost never sufficient to address the complex set of factors that lead to human rights risks. While the technology provide new opportunities for groups working to address human rights challenges, groups working to deploy blockchain-based solutions must ensure that these projects do not exacerbate underlying risk factors, or distract from initiatives that would more directly address fundamental obstacles to progress. Like all companies, those that build or utilize blockchain systems are responsible for ensuring that their products and services do not cause or contribute to human rights violations.

This discussion will focus on cross-cutting opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain across a variety of use cases. Marti Flacks, Director and Senior Fellow with the Human Rights Initiative, will deliver introductory remarks, followed by a presentation on the report’s major findings from William Crumpler, Researcher with the Strategic Technologies Program. The expert panel will feature discussion with Giulio Coppi, Global Digital Specialist for Programmes at the Norwegian Refugee Council; Mariam Turashvili, Head of Project Management and Sales Division at the National Agency of Public Registry; Trent Larson, Senior Manager of Development at Medici Land Governance; and Isabel Ebert, Adviser for Business and Human Rights at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

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Marti Flacks
Khosravi Chair in Principled Internationalism and Director, Human Rights Initiative

William Crumpler

Consultant, Strategic Technologies Program
Global Digital Specialist for Programmes at the Norwegian Refugee Council
Head of Project Management and Sales Division at the National Agency of Public Registry of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia
Senior Manager of Development at Medici Land Governance

Isabel Ebert

Adviser for Business and Human Rights at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights