Guest post by Daniela Schnidrig at Global Partners Digital
At Global Partners Digital, our mission is to help foster a digital environment underpinned by human rights. One of the ways we try to do this is by empowering new voices to get involved in cyber policymaking processes. Our work intersects with the work at Access Now; we share the conviction that our digital world is stronger when the voices of users-at-risk, such as human rights defenders, are amplified.
The need for a strong human rights voice in these spaces is clear. Policies, laws, and strategies on issues like cybersecurity can have serious implications for human rights. But all too often, the spaces they’re made in can seem closed and inaccessible to many actors. The result is that important decisions on cyber policy are being taken by a narrow range of security actors, behind closed doors and without the crucial scrutiny and insight that human rights defenders can provide.
Earlier this year, we launched a new global cyber capacity-building programme to address this challenge. And we’re now hugely excited to unveil a core part of it — a five-module online training series for human rights defenders: ‘How to engage in cyber policy: tools for human rights defenders’.
The clue is in the title. The series aims to help human rights defenders develop the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to engage effectively in cyber policy debates. It’s structured around five modules, with the first four focusing on a different dimension of cyber policy — human rights, cybersecurity, regulatory frameworks, and cyber capacity-building — and a final regional module highlighting how these issues apply in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Each video was developed collaboratively with the programme’s Advisory Board, and takes participants through a key cyber issue or concept — explaining how it relates to human rights, who the key actors are, and how and where to engage. Each module will also be accompanied by a live Q&A session, giving participants the chance to discuss the issues with field experts from around the world.
The series is a public resource (licensed under Creative Commons) and we encourage anyone interested to get involved and join the Q&As. Human rights defenders, after all, don’t just come from civil society — business actors, technical users, and governments all have a role to play in promoting human rights.
You can watch the introductory video and first two modules — human rights and cybersecurity — on the series YouTube channel here.
We’d love to know what you think of the series. If you have any feedback or questions, drop us a message on @GlobalPartnersD or send me an email at daniela[@]gp-digital.org.