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.

 

 

Unwanted Witness: Internet barriers constrain the work of Ugandan human rights defenders amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Unwanted Witness: Internet barriers constrain the work of Ugandan human rights defenders amidst COVID-19 pandemic 20 April 2020 Unwanted Witness

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere are asked to cease physical interactions and the internet has become the lifeline for the work of human rights defenders currently working from home. What does this mean in Uganda, a country with low internet access?

Inside the Digital Society: Is homeworking working?
Inside the Digital Society: Is homeworking working? 20 April 2020 David Souter

Millions have turned spare rooms (if they have them) into home offices and now spend their days in Zoom chats and on Microsoft Teams in virtual rather than physical proximity with their co-workers. How’s that going? And what questions should we ask?

DEF: We need free talk time and internet during COVID-19
DEF: We need free talk time and internet during COVID-19 17 April 2020 Osama Manzar for DEF

Digital Empowerment Foundation argues that free talk time and internet are crucial to help India's migrant works during the pandemic. 

DEF releases COVID-19 digital emergency relief programme
DEF releases COVID-19 digital emergency relief programme 17 April 2020 Digital Empowerment Foundation

This is a compilation of articles and other resources and initiatives featured by the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), an APC member organisation, in their latest newsletter.

Feminist practices in forced lockdowns and remote lives: From Madrid, Sarajevo and Mumbai
Feminist practices in forced lockdowns and remote lives: From Madrid, Sarajevo and Mumbai 16 April 2020 hvale, Leila and Shivani for APCNews

What is a feminist practice in a time when the entire world is pushed into a one-size-fits-all way of living and working? Here are some reflections and highlights of our feminist practices in forced lockdowns and remote lives.

The resilience of Kenya’s internet freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic
The resilience of Kenya’s internet freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic 15 April 2020 Liz Orembo for KICTANet

There is a need to balance the use of technology with human rights in response to the pandemic. Otherwise, we might risk losing the rights and freedoms we had steadily gained over many years.

CIPESA: Why access to information on COVID-19 is crucial to persons with disabilities in Africa
CIPESA: Why access to information on COVID-19 is crucial to persons with disabilities in Africa 14 April 2020 Paul Kimumwe for CIPESA

While COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, there is growing concern that critical messages about the disease that are disseminated by health authorities, telecom companies, and broadcasters are not reaching persons with visual and hearing impairments.

KICTANet submission on technology-related solutions to COVID-19
KICTANet submission on technology-related solutions to COVID-19 13 April 2020 Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet)

Following consultation with its stakeholders, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) prepared this submission to the Kenyan Senate COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee, with a series of recommendations related to ICT solutions to confront the pandemic.

Inside the Digital Society: Another way to look at access and equality?
Inside the Digital Society: Another way to look at access and equality? 13 April 2020 David Souter

My last four blogs discussed the impact of the current virus crisis on the digital society. I’m moving for the next few weeks to other subjects, but it’s worth noting that the crisis will have an impact on every aspect of the digital society.

Zenzeleni and Tunapanda community networks respond to COVID-19 in Africa
Zenzeleni and Tunapanda community networks respond to COVID-19 in Africa 08 April 2020 APCNews

In a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that people are able to obtain information that will help them stay safe and aware of an evolving situation, and initiatives like these are crucial for reducing the traditional barriers to information that prevent global access.

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