Balancing Human Rights Activism and Self-Care in the Digital Era
Human rights activists are exposed to mental health and psychological well-being challenges, fear, and grief, all of which can lead to long…
Whether its opinions on fostering digital human rights - or simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here is the Digital Human Rights Lab's round-up of the last month's most interesting articles, stories, events, and community updates.
In India, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, and other countries, digital identification systems are undermining privacy and facilitating exclusion, disenfranchisement, and discrimination. Through an open letter, Access Now, Privacy International, NYU researchers, and other civil society organizations are calling on the World Bank to cease supporting unchecked digital ID systems that enable surveillance, exclusion, and discrimination.
Pegasus may be the most infamous surveillance tool, but it's far from the only one used to undermine human rights and democracy. Israeli firm Cellebrite has sold its dangerous UFED phone forensics tool to the Ugandan police force, despite allegations of serious human rights violations under the Museveni regime. They include the kidnapping, torture, and murder of human rights activists, opposition figures, and members of the LGBTQ+ community
The law also criminalises the writing, sending, or sharing of any information through a computer, which is likely to ridicule, degrade or demean another person, group of persons, tribe, ethnicity, religion, or gender; create divisions among persons, a tribe, an ethnicity, a religion or gender; and or, promote hostility against a person, group of persons, a tribe, an ethnicity group, a religion or gender.
There is not only risk in menstruation apps: this is how women's health data is instrumentalized. It's not just your period-tracking app that could be used as evidence you may be seeking an abortion. It’s your subway ticket, that cup of coffee at Starbucks on the way to work, or your Google Maps search query.
Internet shutdowns are a tool of authoritarian repression. A new three-part series from The Guardian looks at how governments use internet shutdowns to control populations, what happens when they impact other countries, and how activists are fighting back
Enough. None of the shutdowns this week would pass muster under international human rights law. Access Now's Felicia Anthonio joined the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to discuss the impact of shutdowns on people's rights and lives, and to mark the launch of a new legal guide to fighting network interference in Africa.
As a result of their work, there has been an alarming increase in online violence directed at politicians, both men, and women. Online violence directed at women politicians, on the other hand, differs from that directed at male political activists in that its primary goal is to suppress women who participate in political life through fear, humiliation, and intimidation. In addition, the violence is becoming more severe and sexualized. It is usually caused by sexism and appears to be intended to prevent women from fully participating in politics.
This month, we hosted another defender's networking, linking, and learning event under the theme: Unplugged but till Connected bringing together several activists, journalists, human rights workers, defenders, technologists, and innovators working to protect human rights at the intersection of technology in East Africa.
Technology has helped shift stakeholders' attention away from domestic abuse and toward the subtle violence, women face in public. If used properly, technology can prevent violence against women in public places. Mobile phones and other ICTs can be used to report sexual assault.
Digital technology is important in human rights activism and in improving self-care for activists. Recognizing that human rights activism is linked to occupational liability risks such as stress, trauma, burnout, depression, anxiety, and other related phobias that can lead to mental health issues, digital tools help to strike a better balance between activism and self-care. As a result, digital technology tools promote positive mental health and self-care even when no expert is present. Human rights activists are encouraged to continue using digital technology tools for self-care and wellness practices under the Digital Inclusion COP and other COPs.
Digital inclusion is giving people and groups the tools they need to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a way that helps them contribute to and benefit from today's digitalized economies and societies, which are growing quickly
The recently passed Computer Misuse law does not suggest anything that is not legislated already. For example, the Data Protection and Privacy Act, of 2019 exhaustively provide remedies to the ostensible gaps that the amendment intends to fill. The majority of the intended insertions creating new and different offences have an effect of unjustifiably and unnecessarily curtailing guaranteed rights and freedoms such as the right to civic participation, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of speech and expression which includes the freedom of the press and other media all guaranteed by the 1995 Uganda Constitution as amended.
Stand a chance to win $1000, Bare Foot Law is looking for innovations, technology-based & otherwise, that are making access to justice more readily available to individuals & communities in need.
Are you passionate about developing solutions that circumvent cyber-insecurities citizens face?
We are looking for you to showcase your application/tool(s) at this year's Digital Security Expo.
Learn more & apply to showcase your product/ tool/ application
The #UWPrivacyMoot competition is around the corner. Unwanted Witness will hold its inaugural moot Court Competition on Privacy; specifically Article 27 of the Ugandan Constitution in a bid to train young legal professionals with expert knowledge of data protection laws, policies, and regulations and to further develop their oral, written, analytical, logical, and legal technological skills necessary for this growing sector. Join us at Makerere University Law School to be part of the inaugural privacy law moot in Uganda confirm your attendance. Book your seat today: https://bit.ly/UWPrivacyMoot
The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is pleased to announce the ninth edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2022 (FIFAfrica22). This year, FIFAfrica will take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 26–29 September 2022. Please note that pre-events will be held on 26 and 27 September while the main Forum event will take place on 28 and 29 September. The Forum is a landmark event that convenes various stakeholders from the internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns, and opportunities for advancing privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination, and the free flow of information online on the continent.
The Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) is now open to all East African organizations and initiatives that use technology to address African civic challenges. The Network seeks to connect all practitioners, researchers, experts, and decision-makers involved in civic tech so as to raise awareness and build strategic alliances across the continent. Organizations in Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are encouraged to join the network.