Internet Shutdown and Freedom of Expression
Among all the benefits that have come with using the internet, it has accelerated the enjoyment of the freedom of expression and right to a…
The Innovation Programme, an initiative of the Digital Human Rights Lab and StarHub Africa seeks to create digital solutions that human rights defenders can use to support their work in a more efficient and secure way. The 10 teams will now have a chance to present their refined ideas at an offline pitch event, from which the best four ideas will benefit from a USh60 million grant funding that comes with a six-months mentorship.
The African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ) proposes to build an online portal known as iRoom, where journalists can write and publish stories on human rights violations happening around the country. iRoom will also provide journalists with the opportunity to undertake open source investigative reporting using content that has been uploaded on the platform.
The platform also intends to offer resources for people seeking information on human rights issues.
Veritas Interactive is interested in building an ERP to track human rights violations. The tracker can be used by civil society organisations, NGOs and other entities to report, track and trace cases of human rights violations. In their pitch, the team noted that currently, human rights organisations rely on manual methods to track and report human rights violations. With the ERP tracker, the public will be able to lodge human rights violations digitally without physically walking into the offices of the different human organisations. Consequently, this would save time and increase efficiency in tracking cases of human rights violations.
The team behind Safe Bangles hopes to develop a wearable bracelet which has information, communication and GPS capabilities to help women and girls at risk of gender based violence report any threats in a timely manner through instant messaging. The bracelet will work in a way that in times of danger or distress, a woman with the bracelet can press it for up to five seconds and an instant alert message will be sent to five contacts of the person at risk who have been registered with the system.
According to the Safe Bangles team, gender based violence remains largely unreported in Uganda because the existing mechanisms for reporting are difficult to use and access and do not provide enough confidentiality.
The Blind Assistant Club has created the “Blind Assistant Application”, a mobile application with talk back features to help visually impaired people read confidential papers.
The team at Cytrone hopes to bridge the digital divide by providing affordable high-speed broadband internet over shared wireless routers placed in specific rural areas in eastern Uganda. The team also intends to put in place an installment plan that could increase smartphone ownership, with a target to digitally include 2,000 individuals over a 12-month period.
With the online/digital environment increasingly becoming the subject of sophisticated and targeted threats, Xomma has been developed as an online learning library on digital security for human rights defenders in Uganda.
Xomma intends to offer cross platform mobile learning resources for human rights defenders to access valuable digital security content that is visualized and presented in a local and interactive format to foster self-learning at the user’s pace and or demand.
SheLaws Initiative Uganda hopes to setup a human rights mentorship programme for female law students that connects them with experienced female human rights lawyers for a period of one year. Through the mentorship classes, the students will have access to free online and offline resources which will be guided by a manual that is run via an already existing mobile application.
Girl Power Connect intends to develop an e-magazine that will provide tailored information using visuals such as cartoons and comics. It aims to address information gaps and misrepresentation specifically among people with disabilities who are also living with HIV/Aids.
Printed versions of the magazine will also be distributed to young people who do not have access to the internet.
The team at Garage Digital Inclusion have created a digital hub where human rights defenders can access information, communication technologies as individuals and in groups. The hub aims to specifically focus on helping female human rights defenders create digital campaigns and hands-on digital trainings.
Currently, access to LGBTQ+ friendly health services remains a challenge because of widespread homophobia against sexual minorities. The team at Let’s Walk Uganda proposes to address this challenge by developing a mobile application called “Kuchu Care” that gives information on nearby LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare centers. Users will also be able to get information on LGBTQ+ related health issues
The app can also be used to make deliveries for safe sex consumables, talk to a doctor, counsellor, peer and also find health related resources.