Human Rights Summit 2023

Through high-profile lectures and panel discussions, the summit will examine global and domestic threats to democracy. It will explore new approaches and partnerships that strengthen democracy, rule of law and human rights programming.

The summit will also highlight the work of Youth Delegates who have developed campaigns addressing pressing human rights issues in their communities and nations.


Democracies across the world are struggling to overcome deep-rooted challenges that undermine human rights, democracy and good governance. Economic crises, armed conflict, and a triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution continue to fuel political polarization and drive the rise of authoritarian leaders.

Sadly, seven decades after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), human rights violations still persist. Millions of people are still imprisoned, tortured, or killed for their faith, political opinion, race, sex, nationality, property, birth or sexual orientation.

To address these challenges, delegates will participate in sessions that explore new approaches and partnerships for strengthening democracy, rule of law, and human rights. These sessions will include briefings from high-level diplomats and officials, presentations by Youth Delegates on their advocacy campaigns, and panel discussions on key human rights issues. Among the topics of focus will be the importance of civil society, including freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the ability to raise resources and represent the views and concerns of communities.


The Summit shines a spotlight on the most urgent human rights situations around the world, giving activists and former political prisoners a platform to speak out about their personal struggles for democracy and freedom. In addition, the Summit hosts a variety of speakers from around the globe to provide perspectives on these issues and to inspire participants to take action.

Speakers will highlight how forward-thinking private sector leaders are supporting democracy by tackling a host of critical challenges, including countering authoritarianism, combating corruption, protecting civic space and advancing labor rights. These discussions are part of the Summit’s Year of Action to Advance Democratic Principles and Goals and reflect the U.N.’s founding principles and purposes, including addressing global threats to democracy.

OFF in NY features theater talks by renowned human rights defenders, followed by a Speaker Gala and additional talk programming. This is a unique opportunity to engage with OFF speakers, including Youth Delegates, and join a network of philanthropists, politicians and technologists working together to strengthen democracy and advance human rights.


The African Business and Human Rights Forum brings together local perspectives and solutions to the global discussion of how to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The forum is being held in parallel with the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and reflects the theme “For Africa, From Africa” that is being promoted by the AU in 2023.

Sessions have advanced conversations on a variety of topics and summit ideals including elevating women’s leadership in policymaking and peacebuilding, aligning religion with human rights advancements, and promoting the importance of safeguarding defenders from backlash. These moderated sessions were open to both in-person and virtual attendees.

LAWASIA members are encouraged to attend in person for discounted member rates. Please see the Registration page for details. If you are not a member, you can join or renew LAWASIA membership prior to registering for the event to receive the discounted rate. Thank you for your interest in the Human Rights Summit 2023!


Registration for the conference is now open. The general public and Youth Delegates are invited to register online.

This year, the Summit is focused on putting human rights issues that need global attention back onto the international agenda. It gives human rights heroes, activists and officials a platform to share their struggles for democracy and freedom and to rally support from other civil society members and governments to take on dictatorships and end brutality.

This year, the Summit is focused on promoting an affirmative, cogent and values-driven vision for freedom and democracy in the digital age; addressing the misuse of technology to repress, control, divide, and disenfranchise; and building resilience against threats to human rights and democratic principles. It also highlights the importance of empowering younger people and addressing challenges to their full participation in democratic life. The Summit is also hosting a series of side events over the course of its eight thematic plenary sessions and closing session.

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