Hundreds of activists are safer online after engaging in digital security trainings

In 2017, APC trained over 130 human rights and women’s rights defenders, sexual rights activists, bloggers, journalists and teen girls to be safe online as a result of more than 13 training workshops organised by APC and its partners.

The Digital Security First Aid Kit for Human Rights Defenders, now in its second edition, was updated in 2016 and was used by our partners in 2017 to conduct digital security trainings in India, Pakistan and Malaysia as part of the Advocacy for Change through Technology in India, Malaysia and Pakistan (IMPACT) project.

As part of this same project, three digital security trainings were held in Malaysia and Pakistan: a training organised on 12 February 2017 for the Ismaili community in Hunza Valley, Pakistan, which was attended by 32 participants; a one-day security training for social workers from the Women’s Aid Organisation, held on 23 February 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by 11 participants; and finally, a digital security workshop co-organised by APC and Access Now on 2-4 May 2017 in Malaysia for women’s human rights defenders, feminists, activists and media producers (bloggers, journalists and citizen reporters), which was attended by 12 participants.

A key strategy of the APC Women’s Rights Programme’s capacity-building approach is to build local and sustainable capacity and to respond to a growing demand for stronger and more integrated feminist capacity building. The FTX: Safety Reboot curriculum is slowly becoming a key tool in facilitating communities to share knowledge and values around representation and expression, and to build confidence and skills to be safe and effective in online spaces, and 2017 was a key year in this development. Collaboratively developed with feminist trainers in the field, the FTX: Safety Reboot curriculum has three modules to date, with five more planned for publication in 2018, framing digital security as an issue to build stronger and more resilient movements based on a wealth of experience and activities. The modules can be adapted, refined and localised for trainings in different contexts.

APC had various opportunities in 2017 to use and further develop modules during several workshops, including Safe Sister trainings in Kenya, workshops at the Gender and Technology Institute in Asia, and a workshop with 18 activists in Mexico City through the Centre for Digital Culture of the City, as well as through consultancies with Mama Cash, B-Change and the Urgent Action Fund. Learning activities from the FTX: Safety Reboot curriculum were also presented and tried out during the Creating Safe Online Spaces workshop at the Internet Freedom Festival 2017 in Valencia, Spain, in order to receive feedback from peer groups.

To watch out for: 2018 will see an FTX Convening which will focus on building a global network of trainers and facilitators familiar with the FTX: Safety Reboot approach and modules, able to adapt the curriculum to local contexts.

Image: Notes from the Making a Feminist Internet meeting in Malaysia in 2017 as captured by Fungai Machirori.

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