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Invitation: #Tech4Rights Expo

The Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to attend the #Tech4Rights Expo, which will be held online from 26 to 29 October 2021.

Register for the #Tech4RightsExpo

View programme

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria launched the #Tech4Rights campaign in 2020. This campaign focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction including: businesses, democratic development, children’s rights, persons with disabilities, electronic evidence, strategic litigation and other key areas of human rights that intersect with new technologies. As part of this campaign, the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit of the Centre will host an online #Tech4Rights Expo from 26 to 29 October 2021.


About the Expo

Join academics, civil society, human rights defenders, state and private sector representatives, artists, and many more in exploring how technology influences human rights.

Let us as stakeholders collectively find ways to leverage digital technologies for the advancement of human rights in Africa.

Among the themes featured in the Expo include business, education, democratic development, artificial intelligence, children’s rights, and persons with disabilities.

Come and sample the multi-layered and innovative efforts of various stakeholders in using technology for human rights.

Be part of this discussion from the 26th of October to the 29th of October 2021!

Objectives

  • To facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experiences and lessons learnt in harnessing new technologies for the advancement of human rights, and combating challenges;
  • To provide a platform for engagement with duty bearers on adoption of human rights approaches to implementation of digital technologies in Africa;
  • To build stronger regional partnerships for advocacy on the effective use of digital technologies for human rights protection; and
  • To provide a space for creative minds to showcase innovative tools, applications and strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights in the digital age.

#Tech4Rights Expo

26 - 29 October 2021
08:00 GMT / 09:00 WAT / 10:00 SAST / 11:00 EAT 
All participants are required to register on the #Tech4Rights event website.
The event will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Register for the #Tech4RightsExpo


Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Hlengiwe Dube
Manager:
Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4199
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
hlengiwe.dube@up.ac.za

Marystella Auma Simiyu
Tutor: HRDA
Project Officer: Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3810
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
marystella.simiyu@up.ac.za


About the #Tech4Rights Campaign

Keeping up with disruptions: Rethinking a human rights-based approach to new technologies in Africa.

View #Tech4Rights campaign activities

Tech4Rights logo

The surge of technological advancements in the last few decades has had major impacts on our society in an unprecedented manner. We see the effect in the transformation that is occurring in the shifts within healthcare delivery, access to education, coordination of protests, engagement in warfare and several other examples. In as much as we have come to see the disruptions caused by technologies, its rapidly evolving nature makes it challenging to have all the answers at present on its impact on human rights protection. There is a potential dark side to the technological innovations being witnessed today which begs the question: In what ways do technologies impact human rights protection in Africa?

For instance, there is a growing concern for the impact robotic innovations will have on the workforce as well as ensuring accountability during conflict and warfare. There is also documented evidence of how new technologies are impacting democratic development across the world while considering how artificial intelligence through facial recognition technologies is aiding the work of policing but concurrently fostering systemic bias. While we have achieved a more connected global world, we have also succeeded in compromising human rights protection.

As much as technologies provide opportunities to advance human rights protection, there is a need to have the difficult conversations that focus on responsible innovations and rights-respecting technologies that put human rights first.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria as a leading human rights organisation in Africa that works on most of these issues in its capacity as a research, advocacy and academic department is, therefore, launching a yearlong campaign in 2020 that focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction. The campaign will have a series of activities that look into technology in the following specific areas: business and human rights; democracy and digital technologies; children’s rights and new technologies; assistive technologies and persons living with disabilities; electronic evidence and strategic litigation and other key areas of human rights that intersect with new technologies.

#Tech4Rights

Tech4Rights logo

Campaign Activities

The Centre's campaign for 2020/2021 focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction and its impact on human rights.
26 - 29 October 2021

26 - 29 October 2021

Tech4Rights Expo
Join academics, civil society, human rights defenders, state and private sector representatives, artists, and many more in exploring how technology influences human rights. Be part of this discussion from the 26th of October to the 29th of October 2021!

Read more

Possible

Possible

A day in the life of Wilson
A #Tech4Rights production: Watch Wilson Macharia demonstrate how technology makes things possible for persons with visual impairments as he takes us through a day in his life.

Read more

14 September 2021

14 September 2021

Reflections on conversion therapy, current practices, emerging technology, and the protection of LGBTQ+ rights in Africa
This episode reflects on the newly launched African Human Rights Policy Paper Conversion therapy: Current practices, emerging technology and the protection of LGBTQ+ rights in Africa. This policy paper has been prepared by the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. ‘Conversion therapy’ is a broad term that refers to therapy techniques or other activities that attempt to change or alter sexual orientation, or reduce a person’s attraction to other persons of the same sex, and instil conventional gender roles.

Read more

3 August 2021

3 August 2021

#Tech4Rights- Exploring the downfalls of social media use for protests and activism
One of the ways Africans are using technology for interaction and to amplify human rights issues on the continent is through social media. Statistics show that Southern Africa has the second-highest social media penetration on the continent, at approximately 41%, placing the region as the second-highest social media users on the continent.

Read more

 

27 July 2021

27 July 2021

#Tech4Rights- Children’s rights to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa
This podcast episode is a conversation on confronting online violence sexual minorities. In Africa, several governments have developed laws that criminalise LGBTIQ+ persons and infringe on their human rights. Laurah Arudi, an expert on SOGIE and participants of the Digital Rights in Africa course who are also Paradigm Initiative Fellows, Kofi Yeboah and Emsie Erastus explore the rights of sexual minorities online.

Read more

20 July 2021

20 July 2021

#Tech4Rights- Children’s rights to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa
The digital space exposes children to new ideas and diverse sources of information. Using digital technologies also arguably exposes children to new opportunities to learn, reduces inequalities and contributes to the realisation of their rights such as the right to education, the right to privacy, freedom of expression, access to information and public participation.

Read more

20 July 2021

20 July 2021

Webinar on children’s rights to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa
The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Children’s Rights Unit and the and the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit. The focus is on children’s rights to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa. This event forms part of the Centre’s campaign #Tech4Rights which focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction and its impact on human rights.

Read more

24 June 2021

24 June 2021

The use of assistive technologies for persons with disabilities
In this episode of Africa Rights Talk Wilson Macharia, an LLD candidate working at the Centre is in conversation with Silver Francis Oonyu, a Disability Rights Advocate from Uganda. Both Wilson and Silver use assistive technology and discuss their experiences as users with visual impairment. Assistive technologies vary depending on the type and degree of one’s disability. This episode touches on various assistive devices, however, the main focus is on those used by persons with visual impairments.

Read more

6 June 2021

6 June 2021

Access to the internet and internet governance in Africa
The annual campaign spearheaded by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is #Tech4Rights: Rethinking a human rights-based approach to new technologies in Africa. The #Tech4Rights campaign focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction and the impact of technology on human rights. The discussion explores what meaningful access means, based on Part IV of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights resolution on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information on the internet, including conversations on regulatory and operational challenges of licencing community networks in Africa.

Read more

27 May 2021

27 May 2021

Exploring the implications of online assemblies
In its seminal General Comment on the right of peaceful assembly, adopted last year, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “protects peaceful assemblies wherever they take place: outdoors, indoors and online; in public and private spaces; or a combination thereof.” In the process of developing this General Comment over the previous two years, the question of the extent to which the right could be exercised wholly-remotely had been one of the most frequently-discussed topics. In 2019 CGHR put together a Research Pack on the issue, and hosted an Expert Meeting for members of the Committee and other stakeholders to discuss the full implications.

Read more

24 May 2021

24 May - 28 June 2021

The right to privacy in the digital age in Africa
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, with the support of Google, is presenting a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the right to privacy in the digital age in Africa. The course focuses on the key elements of the right to privacy and data protection in the digital age in Africa. The course aims to educate and set the tone for an improved data protection landscape within the African region.

Read more

17 May 2021

17 May 2021

Report Launch
The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is hosting a virtual launch of a new report titled Report on Current Practices in Conversion Therapy, Emerging Technology, and the Protection of LGBTQ+ Rights in Africa. The launch features a webinar panel discussion and a Q&A session with the audience.

Read more

 

Other Planned  and Proposed Activities

  1. A series of activities that focus on the interlinks between human rights generally, the right to health specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic and technologies within the African context.
  2. The creation of an advocacy toolkit aimed at civil society organizations on how to better use digital technologies to further their work in protecting human rights;
  3. Book launch and the state of privacy in Africa;
  4. Multi-stakeholder dialogue: Training sessions for judges, police officers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and interested stakeholders.
  5. Human rights and technology conference;
  6. University debate competition. 

#Tech4Rights

Campaign Goals

  1. Awareness raising on the impacts of technologies on human rights protection;
  2. Capacity-building for human rights defenders on policy and digital security issues;
  3. Stirring public activism and advocacy against the harmful impact of technology on human rights and
  4. Policy and sectoral reforms

tech4righst banner

For more information, please contact:

Lloyd Kuveya
Assistant Director:
Operations

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4944
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
lloyd.kuveya@up.ac.za

Thiruna Naidoo
Associate: SOGIESC Unit | Communications and Advocacy

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
thiruna.naidoo@up.ac.za

Simphiwe Khumalo
Acting Manager: Communications and Advocacy

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 5408
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
simphiwe.khumalo@up.ac.za


Centre for Human Rights
Faculty of Law
University of Pretoria
South Africa
0002

Tel : +27 (0) 12 420 3810 / +27 (0) 12 420 3034
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
Email: chr@up.ac.za
Website: www.chr.up.ac.za

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