Since early 2015, the Local Action to Secure Internet Rights (LASIR) project has focused on empowering national and local actors in their defence of human rights on the internet, in countries as diverse as South Korea, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Jordan, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Kenya and Tunisia. All LASIR partners are strong local organisations, with ongoing work on internet rights. They are developing, together with APC, integrated strategies of policy research, context analysis, coalition building, media outreach and popular engagement.
Now that the project has reached its final stage, APC is sharing a series of interviews to highlight the participants’ experiences and conclusions. Today, we want you to meet the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) which focuses on internet rights, media and policy in the Philippines.
What was your goal when you decided to be part of the LASIR project?
Our main goals were to provide a space for different stakeholders in the Philippines to discuss issues around internet governance, human rights and development, to strengthen internet rights advocacy and build initial consensus on what our rights should be on the internet, and to launch the consultation process for the Philippine Declaration on Internet Rights and Principles.
What have you accomplished so far?
FMA was able to hold the first-ever Philippine Multistakeholder Forum on Internet Governance, Human Rights and Development and was able to consolidate its network of advocates by co-organising the event with significant national major partners: the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), the Internet Society Philippines Chapter (ISOC PH), and the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA).
We were also able to launch the Philippine Declaration initiative (“Isang Internet na Ipaglalaban”) and identified key content areas that will comprise it. We managed to form a strong civil society working group that will draft and develop it.
We have also conducted a National Training of Trainers that gathered 15 participants from civil society using a working module that FMA developed, and we are developing a monograph on Cybercrime Law in the Philippines.
Also, we participated in the ASEAN Forum and contributed to the Philippine CSO Statement on ASEAN Economic Integration, among other events.
What would you highlight about the process?
The first multistakeholder forum was a success, with more than 130 participants from all target groups and stakeholders. The process was open and participative, ensuring participation of key players.
Regarding the difficulties, it has been challenging to get representatives from the government to speak on internet governance and human rights. But we made sure to invite multiple potential resource persons from various state agencies whose work influences local internet governance, and not just those working for the main government ICT office.
What was very helpful was the huge amount of resources available on these issues, provided via APC, like the APC Internet Rights Charter, and the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition, among others.
Where can we follow your work and activities?