APC members in 2016: Supporting the digital rights movement in Myanmar

This member story was featured in the 2016 APC Annual Report, as part of our work on rights.

Amidst troubling trends in relation to digital rights and internet freedoms in Myanmar in 2016, EngageMedia partnered with Phandeeyar, MIDO and the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business to host the first Myanmar Digital Rights Forum (MDRF).

With over 90 participants, the MDRF provided a platform for long-time advocates for digital rights (working both locally and internationally) to discuss issues with different stakeholders. The topics tackled in the forum reflect the current and emerging trends in and threats to digital rights in Myanmar: surveillance, content restrictions and lawful interception standards; freedom of expression and hate speech; harassment of journalists; policy reform; the right to information; national identification; and privacy issues in the current laws.

The MDRF was also an opportunity for digital rights movements from across the region to learn from each other – and to encourage the growth of the Myanmar digital rights movement – with sessions that shared experiences around building social movements on policy reform, and looking back on the digital rights movements in India, the Philippines and Myanmar.

The two-day event resulted in a range of concrete actions and plans. Among these, a statement against Myanmar’s Privacy and Protection Law was signed by the Forum participants and sent to Parliament. EngageMedia is fortunate and thankful to have been able to be part of this milestone event, and to witness the continued growth of the digital rights movement in Myanmar – one that we will continue to proudly support.

Image: Co-organisers MIDO addressing the Myanmar Digital Rights Forum. Credit: EngageMedia

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