Evaluating the Influence of Immersive Realities on Human Rights: Informal Meeting of the Committee of Ministers
Sofía Medina Sánchez
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Today 14 th of September at 14:30, the Committee of Ministers is holding an informal meeting
to discuss and explore the possible impact of immersive realities (e.g the Metaverse) on
human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
Representatives from various industries, human rights organisations, researchers, and
academics will share their perspectives and engage in discussions with the Committee of
Ministers regarding the obstacles and opportunities posed by immersive realities. Often
associated with the concept of the Metaverse, immersive realities construct a virtual realm
that blurs the boundaries between digital and physical spaces, potentially revolutionising
human interactions and their engagement with the world.
During this meeting, participants will delve into the best approaches for safeguarding
fundamental rights within the context of the Metaverse and explore potential legal and
regulatory hurdles. It is crucial to thoroughly investigate how immersive realities can enhance
the daily lives of citizens while also considering their potential impacts on democratic
institutions, processes, and the enjoyment of fundamental rights.
The Council of Europe Digital Agenda for 2022-2025 recognises the Metaverse as a
development that presents numerous challenges and necessitates special attention from the
organisation. The event will commence at 14:30 and conclude at 18:00, with opening remarks
by Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš, the Latvian Chair of the Committee of Ministers, and Patrick
Penninckx, Head of the Information Society Department.
Amidst the emergence of these new technologies, it is essential to maintain forums for
discussion to ensure the protection of human rights, even when dealing with uncharted
Sources and further reading:
Council of Europe, Newsroom, Assessing the impact of immersive realities on human rights:
Committee of Ministers informal meeting, 14 September 2023: https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/assessing-the-impact-of-immersive-realities-on-human-rights-committee-of-ministers-informal-meeting
Council of Europe Portal, Information Society, Brief overview of the study: The metaverse
and its impact on human rights, the rule of law and democracy: https://rm.coe.int/leaflet-metaverse-en/1680ac8cac