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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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