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Defending online freedoms: supporting HRDs against digital threats


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The APF, in collaboration with Asia Centre, has released a new report: Digital Security and Human Rights Defenders Landscape: Recommendations for NHRIs in the Asia Pacific

The report examines how effectively National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the region are safeguarding the rights of HRDs against digital security threats, highlighting the need for NHRIs to enhance their monitoring and reporting capabilities to respond to these issues. 

It also provides a set of concrete actions that NHRIs can take to strengthen their support for HRDs engaged in human rights advocacy.

The report was launched at a virtual event held on 7 December, attended by 78 participants from across the globe, including representatives from NHRIs, civil society organisations, United Nations agencies, and various other stakeholders. 

The event also featured the release of a new online data collection tool to support NHRIs and HRDs in the Asia Pacific, developed in partnership with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR). 

The Right to Defend Rights tool evaluates the enabling environment for HRDs via human rights indicators and two questionnaires based on international human rights norms and standards. 

By establishing a baseline for the current human rights situation within each country, the tool addresses the pressing need for HRDs' protection in the face of evolving challenges.  

The tool also produces data to inform NHRI strategic priorities and activities, provides a reporting framework on human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and facilitates stakeholder engagement to inform policy development on human rights.   

The APF and DIHR have designed a support package to deliver technical support to NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region who wish to use the tool. The package will include online training and peer learning and will be available in early 2024. 

Date: 8 December 2023

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Funded by the European Union

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