An open society ensures that individuals feel safe and free to express themselves. And that they have the information and opportunities to make informed decisions. Therefore we work to increase the safety of human rights defenders under (digital) threat or attack, and improve digital emergency response networks.
Why rights defenders need protection online
Internet has become an indispensable tool for citizens to express their views and fight for their rights. But online privacy and freedom are becoming part of the civic space we see shrinking worldwide. Technological advances can further global collaboration and social innovation. Yet they also help states and groups to repress, survey, and censor human rights defenders in unprecedented ways. People are increasingly arrested for publishing, sharing, even “liking” content online. And authoritarian governments are using ever more sophisticated ways to curb freedom of speech. Those most at risk are often not well equipped to defend themselves digitally, with limited capacity to anticipate risks and know how to respond if a threat or attack occurs.
Our approach to free expression online
Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) was initiated in 2012 by the Freedom Online Coalition and is managed by Hivos. It takes a rights-based approach, focusing on core principles such as human rights and internet freedom, inclusivity and diversity, trust and confidentially, do-no-harm and mentorship and partnership. DDP’s mission is to provide a holistic response to digital threats and create resilient and sustainable networks of support to human rights defenders. To this end, DDP provides emergency response and sustainable protection funding, strengthens rapid responders and local protection networks, increases trainers’ capacities through field building efforts, and contributes to long-term organizational safety through Digital Integrity Fellowships.