Closer than ever

APC understands that we are all dealing with unprecedented circumstances as we face the challenges, fear and uncertainty brought on by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it impacts our work, our personal lives and the lives of those we care about. Each country is tackling the situation differently, so the contexts we find ourselves in are as diverse as the ways we find to navigate shifting conditions.

In these exceptional times, we wish to send our solidarity and appreciation for connecting with us. While we are distancing ourselves physically, we continue to stay closer than ever to each other and share tools and resources as well as support. We also want to examine how we can continue to promote human rights online in the context of a global pandemic. We are all facing this problem together but we know it affects different countries and communities in different ways. Therefore, we would like to channel the strength of our network to share some important resources that we hope will be empowering, enlightening and reassuring.

Below you will find articles and insights shared by our community, which has been working on human rights and technology issues for over 30 years. We will be updating these lists on a regular basis, so please feel free to connect with us if you have some resources to share.

 

 

Inside the Digital Society: A different year for the Internet Governance Forum
Inside the Digital Society: A different year for the Internet Governance Forum 14 July 2020 David Souter

This week some thoughts on this year’s iteration of one of WSIS’ major outcomes, the Internet Governance Forum or IGF.

Tracking disinformation laws and policies in more than 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
Tracking disinformation laws and policies in more than 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa 13 July 2020 APCNews

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the dissemination of vast amounts of information, both verified and unverified. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations recently launched the Disinformation Tracker, an interactive map to track disinformation laws and policies across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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.

EngageMedia: Pride 2020 perseveres despite the pandemic and threats to freedom of expression online
EngageMedia: Pride 2020 perseveres despite the pandemic and threats to freedom of expression online 09 July 2020 Vino Lucero for EngageMedia

Amid physical and social distancing guidelines across the world, LGBTQI+ organisations faced roadblocks in fully celebrating this year’s Pride month in person. So this 2020, the organisers of Pride marches needed to explore new ways of expressing that unity fully – if not mainly – online.

Grassroots solidarity to fight the pandemic: From farmers to queer communities
Grassroots solidarity to fight the pandemic: From farmers to queer communities 03 July 2020 Yulia Dwi Andriyanti and Raiz Rizqy for GenderIT.org

How are LBTIQ+ people and communities facing the difficulties posed by the global pandemic and the lockdown? This article explores the emergence of solidarities among different marginalised groups in Indonesia, including farmers and queer communities, to ensure food, work and basic survival.

Inside the Digital Society: What have we learnt about a digital society from lockdown?
Inside the Digital Society: What have we learnt about a digital society from lockdown? 29 June 2020 David Souter

Yes, we’ve been able to substitute digital ways of doing things for the ways we’ve previously done them across much of our lives – or, at least, some of us have. But it’s proved more partial and less universal than some expected, which poses questions for the future.

Rudi International: Respect for internet rights and freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic
Rudi International: Respect for internet rights and freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic 24 June 2020 Rudi International

Rudi International released an op-ed with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of access to the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to offer suggestions on how to ensure and enforce internet rights and freedoms.

Thai student protesters in the time of COVID-19: New generation, new forms of resistance online
Thai student protesters in the time of COVID-19: New generation, new forms of resistance online 22 June 2020 Chonthicha Jangrew for Coconet

In early 2020, Thailand saw a wave of student protests challenging the tenure and government of the Thai prime minister, but the pandemic forced a suspension of protests. How has social media been used in response?

In the era of COVID-19, is South Korea’s "new normal" a digital surveillance state?
In the era of COVID-19, is South Korea’s "new normal" a digital surveillance state? 16 June 2020 Network of Human Rights Organizations in response to COVID-19, South Korea

South Korea succeeded in epidemic prevention because it conducted active inspections based on tracking the whereabouts of confirmed patients. However, it should not be forgotten that behind the scenes is an electronic monitoring system that allows our every move to be tracked at any time.

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