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The Freedom Online Coalition

About the Coalition

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) was established in 2011 in response to the growing recognition of the importance of the Internet for the enjoyment of human rights.

Since its founding Conference, the FOC has grown from 15 members to 34 today, spanning from Africa to Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. The FOC’s Member states are unified by the notion that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, as outlined in the founding FOC Hague Declaration.

Coalition members work to coordinate their diplomatic efforts and engage with civil society, the private sector and academia to promote human rights such as the freedom of expression and opinion, the freedom of assembly and association and privacy online – worldwide.

To learn more about the Freedom Online Coalition and to view recent joint statements, visit

About the Conference

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Periodically, the FOC holds a multistakeholder Conference that aims to deepen the discussion on how online freedoms are helping to promote social, cultural and economic development. The ownership of the Conference program and outputs lies with the host country, most often the Chair of the Coalition during that year.

At the time of its inauguration in 2011, the Freedom Online Conference was unique in its ability to facilitate a multistakeholder dialogue on issues related to human rights online. Since then, as the global landscape evolved and the issue gained currency elsewhere, the value proposition behind the Conference shifted towards advancing practical outcomes developed through the FOC Program of Action, and facilitating dialogue on issues relevant for the local context in which the Conference was taking place.

To read more about previous Conferences, view the tabs listed below:

Previous Conferences

On 6-7 February, the 8th Freedom Online Conference took place at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, under the theme “Achieving a Common Vision for Internet Freedom.” The Conference provided a unique forum to re-examine the state of play of current and arising challenges to freedom online, exchange perspectives and identify possible solutions. With Ghana at the helm, the Conference placed particular emphasis on reviewing the current state of digital rights across Africa, outlining strategies for improving digital rights on the continent, and globally.

To read more about the 2020 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's summary.

On 28-30 November, the 7th Freedom Online Conference took place at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, under the theme “Internet Freedom at a Crossroads – Common Paths towards Strengthening Human Rights Online.” The Conference discussed how the internet could be preserved as a realm of freedom and whether democracy in the digital age could be stewarded.

To read more about the 2018 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's summary.
On 17-18 October the 6th Freedom Online Conference took place in San José, Costa Rica. under the theme ‘Enhancing an open, active and constructive online community for the enjoyment of an effective citizenship online’. The Conference centred on contributing to the ongoing multi-stakeholder exchange on how to address the challenges, opportunities and potential of free, open and accessible online channels and platforms for political, social and economic development.

To read more about the 2016 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's Summary.
The 5th Freedom Online (FO) Conference was held in Ulaanbaatar from 4-5 May 2015 under the Chairmanship of the Government of Mongolia. The overarching theme for the Conference was ‘Internet Policy Making – Best Practices for Promoting Online Freedom’. The conference discussed current threats to freedom online and opportunities to strengthen the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights. It placed an emphasis on promoting freedom of expression, access to information, as well as providing new opportunities for business and development and social interaction across borders.

To read more about the 2015 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's summary
In April 2014, Estonia hosted the 4th Freedom Online Conference under the title “Free and Secure Internet for All”. The conference addressed questions around fundamental freedoms online, how private companies can advance freedom online, and Internet governance and the importance of preserving the Internet’s un-fragmented nature.

To read more about the 2014 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's summary.
On 16-18 June, Tunisia was the first Arab country to host the Freedom Online Conference. The conference was titled “Joint Action for Free Expression on the Internet” and aimed at finding strategies to allow an Internet that is both free and secure, building an agenda of digital development that will broaden people’s access to the Internet and ICT, and governments’ and private companies’ role in ensuring transparency and privacy.

To read more about the 2013 Freedom Online Conference, view the Chair's summary.
The 2nd Freedom Online Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2012. As a founding member of the Freedom Online Coalition and an African leader in the field of ICT, the Kenyan government discussed the role of an open and free Internet not only as a prerequisite for respecting human rights, but also as a provider of tremendous opportunity for development and economic growth.

To read more about the 2012 Freedom Online Conference, visit https://freedomonlinecoalition....
The first Freedom Online Conference was held in 2011 in The Hague. The Conference discussed proactive steps states could take together to stand up for Internet freedom and aimed to foster a global conversation based on shared principles to preserve an Internet that is open and free while also interoperable, secure, and reliable. The key purpose of the Conference was to facilitate a global dialogue about the responsibilities of governments from around the world to actively and continuously further human rights online, in close engagement with the private sector, civil society, bloggers and representatives of international organizations.

To read more about the 2011 Freedom Online Conference, visit https://freedomonlinecoalition....