Skip to content

The Imperative for a UN Special Rapporteur on AI and Human Rights


Marc Rotenberg


Keywords: UNESCO, UN Special Rapporteur, human rights

In the era of rapid technological advancement, artificial intelligence (AI) offers unprecedented opportunities for development and innovation while simultaneously posing significant risks to human rights and democratic institutions. As global reliance on AI continues to grow, the United Nations (UN) has been at the forefront of addressing the complex interplay between AI and human rights. Through various policy initiatives, including the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, the UN has laid a foundational framework for the ethical governance of AI. Furthermore, the UN Secretary-General has underscored the importance of integrating human rights considerations into AI development and deployment. The recent establishment of the UN high-level expert group on AI governance marks a significant step forward in the global AI policy. However, to effectively navigate the intricate landscape of AI and human rights, there is a pressing need for the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on AI and Human Rights. This role would not only complement existing efforts but also provide the agility, authority, and competence required to address emerging challenges and safeguard human rights in the digital age.
Keywords: UNESCO; UN Special Rapporteur; human rights

Marc Rotenberg is the founder and executive director of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, a global network of AI policy experts and advocates. CAIDP publishes annually the AI and Democratic Values Index, a comprehensive review of AI policies and practices in 75 countries. For correspondence: <>.


Lx-Number Search

(e.g. A | 000123 | 01)

Export Citation