Posts Tagged ‘Kosovo’

Human Rights HACKATHON in Kosovo: Equalitech

September 8, 2019

Hackathon in Kosovo

Civil Rights Defenders, in partnership with Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK) is hosting the first ever regional hackathon to tackle human rights issues – ‘EqualiTECH 2019’ – on 27-29 September 2019.

..there is a clear shortage in the interplay of technological investments around human rights issues, frequently materialising as a roadblock for its advocates. In an effort to reduce this gap, the organisers invite participants with various backgrounds, skill sets, and creative abilities to form multidisciplinary teams and invent unique digital products to hack Human Rights challenges pertaining to 3 thematic areas:

1). Justice and Equality; 2). Freedom of Expression; 3). Access to Information.

This signature event challenges participants to place humanity at the forefront of design thinking and innovation. It aims to fuse the power of technological innovation with the generative capacities of human rights defenders and activists, in building ICT solutions as part of diverse teams, to support human rights work in the Western Balkan countries. Under expert mentoring, the competitors of different backgrounds will have 40 hours to design innovative products that will elevate the work for human rights protection and advocacy. ‘EqualiTech 2019’ kicks off on the 27- 29 September, taking place at ICK’s event hub. All interested candidates can apply here. The deadline for application is 17 September, 11:59 pm.

The challenges

Justice and equality

Design a solution that helps increase justice and equality. Conceptualize and develop a digital product that will help increase justice and equality as well as promote inclusiveness for all. For example, think of tools (i.e. platform) that can connect state bodies responsible for providing free legal aid, private pro-bono lawyers/law firms, legal aid organizations and citizens in need of legal aid and advice; or tools that can help identify public and private places of interest and service providers (bars, restaurants, hotels, parks, etc) that are friendly, inclusive and non-discriminatory, particularly to vulnerable and marginalized communities in the Western Balkans.

Freedom of expression To complete this challenge, you should design a tool that will help facilitate and/or increase freedom of expression and reduce various forms of online harassment. The objective is to invent digital products (i.e. platforms) that can enable citizens, activists and journalists from the Western Balkans to connect with each other; identify and report violations of human rights; enable user-friendly reporting mechanisms that help increase their safety and security, etc.

Access to information is increasingly limited in the Western Balkans. Proliferation of unprofessional media, increasing number of fake and manipulative information, limits citizens abilities to make informed decisions. Conceptualize and design a digital product that will help increase access to reliable and useful information sources. This product (i.e. platform) should support citizens, progressive media outlets and independent journalists, fact-checking and other issues relating to ‘fake news’.

(Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Competition eligibility criteria?

To participate, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • All individuals must be between 18-35 years of age.
  • Must work (HR activists or advocates) or have an interest (tech candidates) in combating discrimination, upholding human rights for minorities and underrepresented groups, and ensuring freedom of expression.
  • Tech candidates must be skilled in using programming language or tools and/or graphic design software.
  • All candidates must be able to collaborate within a team.
  • Must have a passion for problem-solving and analytical thinking.
  • Preference will be given to individuals with proven experience or passion in combating human rights violations.

Awards for the winning products

We will award three cash prizes, each in the amount of 1000 euros for the winning product prototypes in the respective challenge category.

For a similar event see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/02/24/diplohack-event-on-human-rights-to-be-held-in-geneva-on-26-27-february/

EqualiTECH 2019 Human Rights Hackathon to Launch in Kosovo

The documentary “E-TEAM” goes really public via Netflix

May 14, 2014

Yesterday I referred to the upcoming Human Rights Watch Film Festival in June. One of the films shown there will also appear on Netflix and therefore be able to reach a much larger audience. Interesting development for human rights films!!

 

 

Winners of 2013 United Nations human rights prizes announced today

December 5, 2013

On 5 December 2013 the six winners announced of the UN Human Rights Prize were announced: Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania, a son of freed slaves who works to eradicate the heinous practice; Hiljmnijeta Apuk of Kosovo, a campaigner for the rights of people with disproportional restricted growth short stature; Liisa Kauppinen of Finland, President emeritus of the World Federation of the Deaf; Khadija Ryadi, Former President of the Morocco Association for Human Rights; Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice the Constitutional Court; and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes and is now a renowned education activist. The award ceremony will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2013, as part of the annual commemoration of Human Rights Day [The Prize, which is bestowed every five years, is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights.]

via United Nations News Centre – Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai among winners of 2013 UN human rights prize.

New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy: course for HRDs in Montenegro

October 22, 2013


Wallpaper (webb)
Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders is organising a five-day working conference in Przno, Montenegro, from the 22 – 27 October. The conference is entitled “Empowering people – ideas worth spreading“ and will gather human rights activists from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The goal of the conference is to increase the participants’ capacities in using new media and technology as well as art in their advocacy work.

We want to truly empower activists in using new media and technology in their work as well as giving them the tools to be more effective. New media and social networks are used everywhere and therefore our advocacy efforts must follow the trend. Art is also a well-known tool for sending a powerful message and engage people in a debate. During the conference, the participants will share ideas, create new projects and be given a „communications upgrade“ to create online and offline communities, thus making them part of the human rights advocacy network“, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

Through intensive training and workshops, 40 activists from the Western Balkans will learn how to use new media, create communication strategies, learn about video production and theatre as well as civic journalism in advocacy. The participants will exchange ideas and create new ones at the conference, which will provide the foundation for future joint efforts and regional partnerships.

Civil Rights Defenders – New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy.

 

Visiting Serbia and Kosovo, UN High Commissioner urges political will to solidify human rights and support HRDs

June 21, 2013

In June 2013, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited former Yugoslavia. In both Serbia and Kosovo she mentioned that human rights defenders have a key role to play:

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navane...

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Serbian Nataša Kandić receives first Civil Rights Defender of the Year awar

April 7, 2013

Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard

(Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard)

Nataša Kandić, founder of Humanitarian Law Center in Serbia and 1999 MEA Laureate, has been awarded the 2013 “Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award” for her “persistent and fearless work on documenting war crimes and the most serious human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, and for supporting war crimes trials by providing courts with evidence and witnesses.” Nataša’s human rights work has put her life at risk but her concern has always been with the war crime victims and not her own persona. “Those who choose to work with human rights connected to war cannot be afraid. I have never thought about risks. I am always only thinking about uncovering the truth about the crimes that have been committed and seeking the conviction of those responsible. There is no room for fear”, she stated.  Read the rest of this entry »

Example of transparency in communication between Government and NGO in Sweden

January 26, 2013

In December 2012, the Stockholm-based NGO Civil Rights Defenders wrote a letter to the Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, and urged him to demand stronger protection for human rights defenders in Kosovo. Civil Rights Defender’s letter to Carl Bildt was sent after the attacks against the organisations ‘Kosovo 2.0’ and ‘Libertas’ in late 2012. Read more about the background: http://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/news/statements/kosovo-police-must-promptly-investigate-hate-crime-attacks/

English: Carl Bildt, foreign minister in Swede...

Carl Bildt (Wikipedia)

What is interesting is the frank exchange between the NGO and the Ministry and the fact that the exchange of letter can be made public. I think that in quite a few countries civil society can only dream of this kind of transparency.

For this reason I reproduce the response of 21 January 2013 by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in full:

Dear Robert,

Thank you for your letter about the human rights situation in Kosovo and the information about the attacks in Pristina against human rights defenders, addressed to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. I’ve been asked to answer you. I would first like to apologize for the late reply.

The events you describe is obviously regrettable and unacceptable, and unfortunately part of a pattern in the Western Balkans where gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights are not guaranteed and they are subjected to harassments. From a Swedish perspective, strengthening human rights in Kosovo is a priority both on a political level and within the framework of the Swedish development cooperation, where we work closely with the civil society, including Civil Rights Defenders. Improvement of the human rights situation is also crucial for Kosovo’s EU integration.

We are discussing these important issues on a political level with politicians in Kosovo. When Prime Minister Hachim Thaci visited Sweden in October, EU integration and the necessary reforms in Kosovo, including human rights, were major themes. In development cooperation, Sweden is working with great commitment with LGBT issues in several projects in the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. As you probably know the Swedish Institute in 2012 showed the exhibition “Article One” to empower the LGBT movement in Kosovo and make them more visible in the community.

One reason why Sweden wants to see Kosovo as well as the other Western Balkan countries as members of the EU, is the great development of these countries’ societies that comes with the EU integration. Democracy in Kosovo has made considerable progress in recent years, but significant challenges remain, not least in the field of human rights. A clear EU perspective with strict requirements and evaluations with regard to respect for human rights is the best way to drive development in Kosovo. Civil society engagement, both within countries and internationally, is of utmost importance for Kosovo to become a more open and democratic society.

Sincerely

Emilie af Jochnick
MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS