Digital rights advocates have a boost in the line of work with the launch of a tool kit by Nigeria-based Paradigm Initiative, PIN.
The launch of the Ayeta tool kit was scheduled to coincide with the December 10 celebration of the International Human Rights Day. PIN Executive Director; Gbenga Sesan speaking about the tool kit stressed its important especially in these times.
“PIN and its partners are launching Ayeta, a Digital Rights Toolkit to prepare civil society actors for when their work puts them in harm’s way,” he said.
“Recent events across Africa, some of which are captured in our upcoming Digital Rights and Inclusion 2020 Report, make this year’s Human Rights Day theme a lot more apt and I hope that Ayeta proves to be a useful tool in digital rights protection,” he added.
On the celebration of global human rights day which was under the theme; “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights,” PIN stressed that digital rights remained human rights. On which grounds they reiterated calls for state actors to respect rights of citizens online as enshrined in their constitutions.
What is Ayeta all about?
It is a toolkit that contains digital security measures to protect advocates and other persons in the digital rights ecosystem against online abuse.
“It also includes profiles of digital security actors, a calendar of relevant digital rights events in Africa and a digital rights library of sort, where case studies, model policy briefs, press and coalition statements are pooled.
A section of the 52-page document is dedicated to network disruptions, how to circumvent them, keep records and advocacy resources as and when shutdowns are imposed.
The authors are Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Bonface Witaba. It was developed as a 2020 Stanford Digital Civil Society Fellowship Project. It was supported by over a dozen individuals within the African digital rights ecosystem.
Digital Rights are Human Rights – PIN
A PIN statement that preceded the virtual launch of Ayeta reiterated how the impact of COVID-19 has boosted the need for governments to adopt technology in the governance and service delivery areas.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of technology, but also the pivotal role of an effective, inclusive, and accountable government,” it read.
According to PIN Community Manager, Thobekile Matimbe, “as we reflect on our fundamental rights and freedoms, it is critical to highlight that digital rights are human rights. Digital rights are the rights that have enabled education in our African countries and provided a platform for the enjoyment of quality life.
“As we embrace the new normal, we urge African States to ensure better recovery from the effects of the pandemic by embracing technology and enabling internet access to marginalized communities and vulnerable groups,” she added.