Digital rights

We increase citizen engagement in Internet governance by integrating digital rights discussions into overall human rights agendas at the local and regional levels, and by supporting local stakeholders to shape global and regional Internet governance agendas to be responsive to local needs. We do this by through research informed advocacy and corporate accountability efforts, engaging in international standard setting bodies, partnering with local academic institutions and leading digital rights schools, and advocating for regulatory reform. For this, GIF takes the following approaches:
Building our collective knowledge - Research publications
Research and other publications are some of the key activities within the GIF digital rights
component. There are three main streams of research:
Global best practices to defend and extend digital rights icon
Global best practices to defend and extend digital rights
Divergent and emerging  digital rights issues icon
Divergent and emerging digital rights issues
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Corporate Accountability
Fighting for digital rights - Campaigns and advocacy

Our partners undertake numerous activities to help expand digital rights and freedoms and mitigate the actors working to diminish these freedoms. Through the GIF program, partners can provide a customized response to the complex challenges, tailored to the needs and restrictions of local environments. These responses include:

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Advocacy campaigns

Partners conduct physical and virtual advocacy engagements alongside social media campaigns with key Internet experts, CSOs, and policymakers, among others, to raise awareness of digital threats, encourage best practices and respond to emerging challenges to Internet freedom to protect fundamental human rights.

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Awareness-raising campaigns

Regional, country-specific awareness-raising and information campaigns aim to develop citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for the choices they make.

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Advocacy toolkits

In countries where direct advocacy or public awareness-raising campaigns may put individuals at risk, partners adopt alternative strategies such as producing advocacy toolkits and other awareness raising tactics that deliver the message without putting anyone at risk.

Building capacity - Workshops, training, digital rights schools, lectures, fellowships, and mentorships

It is essential to bring new advocates and actors into the digital rights space and build the capacities of traditional human rights advocates to include the digital aspect of human rights in their work. To do this, partners have identified the following capacity-building mechanisms:

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Training and workshops

Trainings and workshops are designed to provide partners with practical and valuable skills that will help them advocate for digital rights issues. For instance, training topics include strategizing on how to most effectively protect and fight for data protection in their respective countries; understanding, defining, and circumventing shutdowns; content filtering; and throttling of the Internet.

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Digital rights schools

Digital rights schools typically last between four to seven days. These schools feature a curriculum customized for the region with relevant case studies that contextualize the digital rights situationlocally and teach new actors the nuts and bolts of IF. In addition, some of the more advanced digital rights schools provide participants with specific issue training like Al and automated decision making.

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Lectures at institutions of higher learning

GIF regional and local partners undertake a series of lectures on critical digital rights issues at higher learning institutions across the 40 GIF countries. Further, partners integrate Internet Freedom concepts into curricula for journalists, legal, engineering and political science students, ensuring sustainable local capacity in digital rights advocacy for at-risk communities.

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Fellowships and mentorship programs

GIF Consortium members offer mentorship programs that support traditional human rights actors to effectively engage on digital rights issues and paid fellowships on various digital rights issues. These capacity-building programs make the work more sustainable and locally impactful.