Posts Tagged ‘networking’
In an era of rapid technological innovation and increasing access to new data sets, the possibilities for reconceptualizing and revolutionizing our ability to document human rights violations are vast. These new and emerging tools, resources and data streams provide exciting opportunities for human rights defenders.
The upcoming Responsible Data forum (RDF) looks to build upon the ethical, privacy and security challenges posed by the use of new & emerging data sets and new technologies in human rights documentation. This event will build off of the discussions started the 2015 RDF on Human Rights Documentation in Manila, in particular building on the tools & resources started there. This RDF will be a hands-on and collaborative event, focused on developing concrete resources and strategies to ensure that human rights documentation efforts are bettered by technology and data without causing undue or unforeseen harm.
New challenges and questions. Are we taking advantage of these new technologies and data streams to actually enhance our work? Do we sometimes use new kinds of data simply because it seems to enhance our credibility but doesn’t actually change our documentation? Are our project planning systems changing as a result of these new tools and resources? Should they? What can we learn from each other about how to helpfully engage with new and emerging technology and data? How can we tell the difference between innovation and tech & data exuberance? How should we weigh the potential benefits of experimenting with new technology and data versus the potential risks and harms that could occur?
VENUE: Thoughtworks, San Francisco, United States
APPLY HERE by March 24th, 2016!
[The Responsible Data Forum is a collaborative effort to develop useful tools and strategies for dealing with the ethical, security and privacy challenges facing data-driven advocacy. This is not a talk-shop. This RDF will bring together a small group of experts, practitioners and policy specialists to have a frank and open discussion about challenges with responsible data in data visualization. It is not about ‘naming and shaming’ but about being open about past experiences and building from them to better support the broader community. This event will employ a participatory methodology that enables participant collaboration on the development of actual tools and resources such as guidelines, checklists, frameworks and hopefully creative tools we haven’t yet thought of! A key outcome of this event will be the sharing of the developed tools with others outside of this event to promote and test the content, and develop further iterations.]
The Newsletter of International Service for Human Rights in Geneva gave on 2 April 2015 the floor to Joseph Bikanda, the Coordinator of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRDN), a Network made up of 5 sub-regional networks of human right defenders (HRDs), including the East and Horn of Africa, the Central, the West, the Southern and the North African HRDs Networks.
Joseph first became involved in human rights as a university student. A group of students needed a voice to advocate on their behalf. Joseph became that voice. In doing so, Joseph learnt about human rights mechanisms existing at the time. ‘I found myself surrounded by the human rights world and knew that it was the right place for me. Since then I have been working in human rights in various capacities.’
Joseph stated that PAHRDN’s key focus is to strengthen the capacity and provide support to regional networks, civil society organisations and HRDs. ‘You are always stronger working together in a network, and if each element of the network is more capable and works together – you are even stronger’
‘..Regional and international human rights mechanisms support HRDs, but networks such as PAHRDN are essential to create local supporting mechanisms for HRDs’.. Joseph explains that PAHRDN has established local mechanisms to ‘fill the gap as best we can’. These mechanisms include providing emergency support, lawyers, trial observation and practical support for HRDs.
‘One of our key roles is to provide support for HRDs in emergency situations when they are being harassed, targeted or when their lives are in danger. We have also created urgent mechanisms which apply pressure to perpetrators of human rights abuses.’
Joseph commented on the essential role that HRDs played in initiating the development of the law for the protection of HRDs in Côte d’Ivoire. He shared his hope that each African country develops similar laws in the near future and, in particular, that each of those laws is effectively implemented. ‘I hope to see HRDs develop further as key actors combatting corruption and promoting transparency. Involving HRDs in decisions ensures that the views of civil society are raised and considered.’
In his discussion with ISHR, Joseph identified that his primary objectives of attending the March session of the Human Rights Council were to raise awareness of – the horrific situation in Burundi, in particular the persecution of journalists and HRDs; the continued fighting in South Sudan and the abduction of children for combat; and the concerning counter terrorism laws in Cameroon and Ethiopia, which lack differentiation between defenders and terrorists.
You can follow Joseph Bikanda on Twitter at @Bikjo.
Another interesting side event taking place in the margin of the UN Human Rights Council is the one organized by the Human Rights House Foundation on Monday 17 March 2014 from 10h00-11h30 in room XXI in the Palais des Nations.
The subject is:: 20 YEARS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN WRONGS IN THE BALKANS, CAUCASUS AND EASTERN EUROPE.
5 women human rights defenders will share their experience and present the new Human Rights House Network info graphics on the protection of human rights defenders:
- Lara Aharonian, Women’s Resource Center Armenia Human Rights House Yerevan,
- Anna Dobrovolskaya, Youth Human Rights Movement, Human Rights House Voronezh, Russia
- Shahla Ismayil, Women’s Association for Rational Development, Human Rights House Azerbaijan, Baku
- Sanja Sarnavka, Be active. Be emancipated (BaBe), Human Rights House Zagreb, Croatia
- Maria Dahle, Human Rights House Foundation. Oslo, Norway
Human Rights House Network (HRHN) was established 20 years ago and now unites 90 human rights NGOs in 18 independent Human Rights Houses in 13 countries. HRHN aims to protect, empower and support HRDs locally.
The info graphics themselves, which try to cover all the key topics in the creation of an enabling environment for human rights defenders as laid down in the latest report of the Special Rapporteur, will be publicly available as from 17 March on http://humanrightshouse.org or contact <anna.innocenti[at]humanrightshouse.org>
In the presence of the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the MEA Laureates of 2013: the Joint Mobile Group, the family of Werner Lottje (his wife Margit and the children) and some 90 other participants we had on 13 November 2013 the first WERNER LOTTJE LECTURE in Berlin. It was an impressive affair and the organisers, Bread for the World and the German Institute for Human Rights, can look back on a successful launch of this annual event. There were many good tributes to Werner’s life and contribution. Igor Kalyapin of the JMG explained the terrible conditions under which his team has to operate in Russia and Margaret Sekaggya concluded with a wide-ranging overview of obstacles that HRDs all over the world face. A short, impressive film brought the person of Werner to life.
Here I am providing you the full text my own speech on this occasion, not only because I have it handy but because it concerns mostly the international part of his work:
“Thinking outside the box – Werner Lottje as an international networker”
Rule of law, freedom of the press, women’s rights – these were just a few of the issues recently discussed at a conference which brought together human rights defenders from Central America and the Caribbean. Twenty human rights defenders from 13 countries and representatives from the German embassies attended the event, which took place from 17 to 18 April in Panama and was organized by the Federal Foreign Office. Also participating were the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Markus Löning, and the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Thomas Karl Neisinger.
The discussions were dominated by the key issues affecting the region, such as the rule of law and women’s rights. Special attention was given to the subject of coöperation between embassies and human rights defenders as well as building networks and strengthening regional civil society. Despite the different situations in countries such as Honduras, Costa Rica and Jamaica, many states in the region face similar challenges. Consequently it is especially important to improve civil society networks so that human rights defenders can learn from one another’s experiences and coöperate more closely in the future.
This event was the fourth regional human rights seminar organized by the Federal Foreign Office. This format is to be retained for future events, for example in Southern Africa in June 2013.
On 21 March 2013 human rights defenders gathered in Yaounde, Cameroon for the first counterparts meeting of the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network PAHRD-Net adopted a plan of action to promote stronger collaboration and protection of human rights defenders across Africa. During the week-long meeting, representatives from the five sub-regions, the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network REDHAC, West African Human Rights Defenders Network, Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, as well as thematic focal points for women human rights defenders, defenders working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and HRDs working in conflict zone and journalist working to end impunity and corruption, shared experiences and best practices for protection, security management, advocacy, research, information technology, program management and fundraising.
In the plan of action, the PAHRD-Net steering committee agreed to carry out a number of joint activities to strengthen the capacities of the sub-regional networks and to work together to increase the protection and security support available to human rights defenders at risk across the continent.At the end of the meeting, Hassan Shire, PAHRD-Net chairperson said: “African human rights defenders encounter myriad risks and obstacles in carrying out their work. With the steps agreed today, PAHRD-Net looks forward to seeing empowered, safer and more effective HRDs working throughout the continent.” The meeting was made possible by the EU, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the National Endowment for Democracy.
- Pan-African protection of Human Rights Defenders boosted with EU grant (thoolen.wordpress.com)
Resources used by Human Rights Defenders to create effective strategies are collected by New Tactics in Human RightsMarch 29, 2013
Strategic thinking is a discipline used in all types of work. In order to build a house, you need a plan. In order to win votes to get elected for a political position, you need a plan. Human rights work is no exception – in order to make change, you need a plan and hopefully, it’s a good one!. New Tactics in Human Rights wants to build a collection of strategic-thinking resources and tools for human rights defenders to help in the selection and application of successful tactics. They have been working closely with human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa region to share a methodology to apply strategy and tactics to human rights work, and are eager to share with you the tools they have been using.