Monthly Digest: May 2021

May 31, 2021

Whether it's 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 and stories.


Must-Read Articles of the Month

Whether it's opinions on fostering digital human rights - or simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here's a round-up of the past month's most interesting articles and stories.

Privacy wins as Uganda’s data regulator finds data controller unlawfully disclosed data to 3rd party

Uganda’s data regulator, the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) has ordered the app-hailing motorbike company, SafeBoda to make fundamental reforms on the sharing of clients’ personal data with third parties. This follows an investigation that showed that the app company was sharing personal data with third parties without the knowledge and consent of consumers and going against data protection principles. Here are the findings and recommendations by NITA-U.

Why Uganda should drop taxes on internet

The social media tax received critics from various groups and resulted in people taking to the streets to demonstrate against the tax on grounds that it was unfair to Ugandans. To avoid the social media tax, most Ugandans opted to use the Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) and wireless networks in offices.

Tackling digital inequalities needs a people cantered approach—here’s how

To tackle digital inequalities, we must address the gender digital divide—the gaps that exist in internet access and use between men and women. Research shows women are still less likely to access and use the internet compared to men. The latest ITU data shows that in Asia, the digital gender gap in internet use is 17 percent, rising to a staggering 85 per cent in Africa.

Uganda internet tax proposal faced user backlash

The government wants a 12% excise duty on data but users are opposed to it. They accuse authorities of being insensitive after failing to collect a controversial tax on social media which greatly affected online activity.

Africa is paying heavily for internet shutdowns

From Internet shutdowns, social media crackdowns, cyber-attacks, espionage and low digital inclusion, private data tracing apps, digital rights across Africa have never been as infringed as during the Covid-19 period.

Why data rights are central to the protection of online freedom

In an increasingly digitised world, safeguarding data rights has become central to protecting individuals’ rights to access and share information, express themselves, and associate using the internet and related platforms.

Community updates

With so much going on it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening in the world of social impact. Stay informed and inspired with our handpicked content from the DHRLab Community.

Children’s Safety Online in Uganda

With a growing shift to online learning because of COVID-19, it is important that children’s safety online is enhanced. In this new research, Encrypt Uganda, through its Children’s Online Safety Project sought to understand the state of children’s safety online in north and eastern Uganda as they navigate the shift to online learning. As the findings show, 30 per cent of children interviewed reported suffering abuse and threats online. You can download the full report here.

New report by Unwanted Witness: Journalism Blocked, Information seized

The media plays a critical role in the proper functioning of a democracy. While this role is increasingly facilitated by the internet, recent disruptions to the internet have meant that the media is unable to dispense this role effectively. As this report by Unwanted Witness reveals, the shutdown of the internet pre, during and post-election period had a compounded effect on the operation and key role the media plays during elections.

Podcast #7 Access and utilisation of ICTs by PWDs

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the digital society as well as access to ICTs and assistive technology is part of the realisation and promotion of human rights. In this podcast by the Digital Human Rights Lab, we explore how to bridge the digital divide for people with disabilities.

Girls in ICT Day

Every year, the International Girls in ICT day is marked to draw attention to the critical need for more girls and women in the area of information communication technology, and also encourage young girls to look into this field of study. In Uganda, the Gender Tech Initiative Uganda with support from the Digital Human Rights Lab celebrated the day by engaging 20 young primary and secondary school students.

Opportunities I Tips I Resources

Every month, we collate the best opportunities, tips and resources for digital human rights practitioners in our community.

RightsCon2021: Human Rights in the digital Age

From June 7-11, Access Now will host the 10th edition of the RightsCon summit series in a virtual event. The event brings together a number of stakeholders, including tech companies, government representatives, human rights defenders and journalists to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology. You can get details of how to participate here.

Minitrack call for papers: International perspectives for cybersecurity

Coordinated by the global Constellation team, this minitrack explores international collaboration in cybersecurity shifts across all relevant dimensions, including law, education, standards, defense, culture and society, policies and international agreements. You can find details on how you can submit a paper by checking out this site.

Submission deadline is June, 15, 2021.

Fact-checkers: Come fight Misinformation

Are you perturbed by the damage that misinformation is doing to society, and want to do something about it? Code for Africa (CfA) is looking for fulltime fact-checkers in Chad, Zambia and Zimbabwe to join their PesaCheck team. Candidates must have demonstrable journalistic and investigative research experience and excellent writing skills. More details on how to apply can be got from the Code for Africa website.

Nominations open for digital equality awards

CODE, a network connecting local and international stakeholders to address the digital gender divide and drive sustainable economic growth in Africa, has opened nominations for the inaugural ‘Digital Equality Awards’ in Ghana and Uganda. Nominations close on June 27, 2021. Follow the link here to submit your nomination.

Call for funding: Artificial Intelligence Innovation

If you are an organisation in Sub Saharan Africa and experienced in Artificial Intelligence Innovation, here’s an opportunity to apply for a grant with the International Development Research Centre and the Swedish International Development Agency to advance responsible artificial intelligence innovations that seek to advance education across Africa.

If you have an activity, article or up-coming event that you would like to share with the DHRLab Community, please email or