Internet rights are human rights

Good news, bad news: A story of internet shutdowns in Togo and Ethiopia
Good news, bad news: A story of internet shutdowns in Togo and Ethiopia 20 July 2020 Juliet Nanfuka for CIPESA

Last month the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice ruled that the 2017 internet shutdown in Togo was illegal. But barely a week later, Ethiopia initiated a nationwide shutdown, serving as a reminder of the persistent threat of internet shutdowns on the continent.

EngageMedia's Pretty Good Podcast: AI and its role in COVID-19 responses
EngageMedia's Pretty Good Podcast: AI and its role in COVID-19 responses 15 July 2020 Sara Pacia

On the third episode of Pretty Good Podcast, ARTICLE 19 digital programme officer Vidushi Marda dissects the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the region’s response to COVID-19 and what the new applications of this technology mean for digital rights after the pandemic.

Open letter to request strong user privacy protections in the Philippines’ COVID-19 contact tracing efforts
Open letter to request strong user privacy protections in the Philippines’ COVID-19 contact tracing efforts 13 July 2020 Various

The Philippine government has launched an exposure notification application, StaySafe.ph, which aims to contain the pandemic in the country. While the effort is commendable, the importance of combating COVID-19 while protecting people’s individual freedoms cannot be emphasised enough.

Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over students' lack of internet access for online education
Media Matters for Democracy expresses concern over students' lack of internet access for online education 13 July 2020 Media Matters for Democracy

Students are facing infrastructural challenges in attending online classes, which are mandatory. The unavailability of quality access to the internet is causing massive challenges for students who are solely dependent on online platforms for education during COVID-19.

Digital-shy Zimbabwe’s schools feel the brunt of COVID-19
Digital-shy Zimbabwe’s schools feel the brunt of COVID-19 30 June 2020 Kenneth Matimaire

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how citizens become vulnerable when governments do not protect and promote human rights in the online environment. The pandemic has critically affected the global education sector, potentially compromising the right to education.

A provisional analysis of the impact of telecommunications policy and regulatory frameworks in Africa and COVID-19: A community networks perspective
A provisional analysis of the impact of telecommunications policy and regulatory frameworks in Africa and COVID-19: A community networks perspective 30 June 2020 Josephine Miliza

This article seeks to examine the extent to which national and regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted on the regime of human rights online. The article also examines the widening digital divide and the role that telecommunication policy and regulatory frameworks play in closing this gap.

COVID-19 and the increase of domestic violence against women: APC submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
COVID-19 and the increase of domestic violence against women: APC submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences 30 June 2020 Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

In this brief submission, APC identifies the nexus between domestic violence and online gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19, drawing on some issues to consider from country-led and regional case studies.

Reflections on COVID-19 policy responses in Uganda and the relevance of the African declaration on internet rights and freedoms for promoting women’s rights online
Reflections on COVID-19 policy responses in Uganda and the relevance of the African declaration on internet rights and freedoms for promoting women’s rights online 29 June 2020 Amuku Isaac

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown why the protection of human rights online is more important now than ever before. The internet has been a gateway for access to critical information, services and opportunities available to many people for the first time, as noted by the GSMA mobile gender gap report.

Mask or muzzle: The impact of COVID-19 measures on digital rights in Kenya
Mask or muzzle: The impact of COVID-19 measures on digital rights in Kenya 29 June 2020 Francis Monyango

Upon the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Kenya, the government enacted various legislation to deal with the pandemic. While the measures were well intended, the manner in which existing laws have been implemented has caused some concern among civil society organisations.

Tackling gender-based cyber violence against women and girls in Malawi amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
Tackling gender-based cyber violence against women and girls in Malawi amidst the COVID-19 pandemic 28 June 2020 Donald Flywell Malanga

Gender-based violence against women and girls remains a global threat to the public health of women and girls during emergencies. As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens the economic and social stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, gender-based violence against women and girls is increasing exponentially.

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