Category : Human Rights | Sub Category : Awareness Posted on 2022-03-23 11:47:01
Digital technology in Uganda has vitally supported the work of Civil Society and Human Right Defenders (HRDs). Nevertheless, it has further facilitated suppression from bad elements within government, and perpetrators.
The government frequently exploits the current laws to censor expression, filter/block access to information/content, and monitor online activity of HRDs.
Rampant instances of intimidation and insecurities, threats, and attacks online, on Human Rights Defenders and the media, and the lack of adequate information about these laws by some of these victims, further escalates the problem. Both their resources for action, and freedoms are continually monitored, compromising their safety and increasing operational risks.
The above, coupled with the lack of IT tools and access to digital infrastructure by different Civil Society Organizations and HRDs, continues to constrain the efforts of protection and promotion of human rights.
Site for Community Services Programme (SCOSP) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Uganda, mandated to empower the vulnerable people in the community, to break the poverty cycle and improve the quality of their lives.
SCOSP is advocating for the rights of persons with albinism, children and women, promoting menstrual management, providing nutritious meals, education and health care to children with albinism and other orphans due to HIV/AIDS in Kigezi sub-region.
As a key stakeholder in the defending of Human Rights in the Kigezi sub-region, SCOSP was considered for a 3 days training of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), in Digital Security, by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHRDU), which took place from 15 to 17th March 2022 at White Horse Inn Kabale.
The training was attended by 30 HRDs composed of Civil Society Organizations and individual Human Rights Defenders from within the sub-region (Kabale, Kisoro, Rubanda, Rukiga and Kanungu), whose operations and operating environments are met with repressive systems including brutality by perpetrators and state officials, confiscation of office files and equipment, freezing of bank accounts, imposing travel bans, arrests of journalists, and restrictions of freedom of speech, association and assembly.
HRDs and Civil Society Organization representatives pose for a group photo during the training at White Horse Inn Kabale. Timothy Ansingwire (extreme left - standing) represented SCOSP (Photo Credit: NCHRD - U)
The training was aimed at building the capacity and security of HRDs in the Kigezi sub-region to strengthen their digital methods used while doing their work, as a way of improving their personal and organizational digital security.
The training was also meant to equip participants with tools of using the internet, storage and exchange of information in a secure way as well as the use of social media platforms while conducting human rights work.
The training improved the participant’s knowledge of managing digital security, and ability to defend self, and the organization against most digital attacks.
Built their capacity in the digital field and became resource persons in their organization and community.
Increased the participant’s competence in controlling personal and third-party information they share online, and confidence to communicate freely, without worrying about surveillance.