Continuing Focus on Human Rights

ICANN org continues to evolve operational policies and practices that have an impact on the human rights of its staff and vendors. Since my last update, ICANN org has introduced training in the areas of bias and anti-harassment, launched several COVID-19-related mental health awareness initiatives, and included human rights considerations in ongoing plans to improve organizational processes and procedures.

The recommendations resulting from ICANN’s first-ever Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) have guided the expansion and implementation of essential training and communication mechanisms. This is in line with ICANN org’s belief that constant and ongoing action is vital to anticipating and mitigating negative human rights impacts through substantive and proactive policies and practices.

The HRIA has been an important step toward fulfilling our human rights due diligence. However, improving the impact of ICANN org’s business operations doesn’t stop here. ICANN org will continue to implement additional operational policies and practices in the spirit of the HRIA recommendations as we work to uphold the positive human rights impact of our business operations and mitigate negative impact, wherever possible.

As we look to 2021 and beyond, ICANN org will continue its efforts to incorporate human rights work into the overall culture of ICANN, as part of our ongoing planning and operational activities.
Domain Name SystemInternationalized Domain Name ,IDN,”IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet “”a-z””. An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European “”0-9″”. The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed “”ASCII characters”” (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of “”Unicode characters”” that provides the basis for IDNs. The “”hostname rule”” requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen “”-“”. The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of “”labels”” (separated by “”dots””). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an “”A-label””. All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a “”U-label””. The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for “”test”” — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of “”ASCII compatible encoding”” (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an “”LDH label””. Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as”””” is not an IDN.”

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