Documents relating to ICANN and the ICANN Community’s Work on Human Rights

The ICANN community has identified that as ICANN delivers on its mission, one of ICANN’s core values is respecting internationally recognized human rights as required by applicable law. On this page we set out documents that provide information on the efforts made regarding human rights issues as they relate to ICANN’s work. 


  • In 2016, the ICANN Board added, per the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability Work Stream 2 (CCWG-WS2) recommendations, a Human Rights Core Value into the ICANN Bylaws that calls for “respecting internationally recognized human rights as required by applicable law” (1.2.b.viii).
  • The CCWG-WS2 report includes an Annex (3) Framework of Interpretation (FOI) for Human Rights, providing guidelines for how the Core Value in the Bylaws can and should be put into practice.
  • In parallel to the WS2 completion of its work, in 2018, ICANN org selected an independent third-party consultant to carry out an internal  Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA). The results of the HRIA were published in May 2019. 
  • In October 2019, the unchartered Cross-Community Working Party on ICANN and Human Rights (CCWP-HR) published the report Designing a Human Rights Impact Assessment for ICANN’s Policy Development Process. 
  • The CCWP-HR is making efforts to facilitate cross-community discussions on the possibility of incorporating HRIAs as a mechanism into the Policy Development Process.

Key documents:

The ‘FOI’ is a brief report that offers consensus interpretation of bylaw language pertaining to human rights. This report was developed by a subcommittee within the CCWG-WS2. 

Ongoing discussions:


Core human rights instruments that may be relevant to support discussions include, but are not limited to the following:


  • The community participating in ongoing discussions on how to implement the Core Value in its work, as guided by the HR-FOI.
  • ICANN org will continue its efforts to incorporate human rights work into the overall culture of ICANN, as part of its ongoing planning and operational activities.
  • ICANN org continues to provide research and expertise, as needed, in support for human rights initiatives across the ICANN community.
  • The Council Committee for Overseeing and Implementing Continuous Improvement (CCOICI) made a series of recommendations relating to human rights to the GNSO Council, including updating existing/future templates to include a checklist to assess whether the topic/recommendations are expected to impact human rights, and empowering the GNSO Council to determine whether human rights received sufficient attention during a PDP and to request human rights impact assessments, with support from staff and community experts. 

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