The Documentalist

Human Rights First Asking What a Networked World Means for Human Rights

Posted in Uncategorized by Sarah on August 18, 2010

Human Rights First, an international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C.,works to defend people’s rights to equality and for freedom of thought, expression, and religion.  The group was founded in 1978 as the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights and takes as its charter:

…to promote laws and policies that advance universal rights and freedoms. We exist to protect and defend the dignity of each individual through respect for human rights and the rule of law (Human Rights First Charter)

As part of this charter, the group maintains a strong Web presence where work, campaigns and breaking news are presented and regularly updated.  The site incorporates a variety of digital media including video, still images, and blogs to illustrate their work and call attention to key issues in the defense of freedom of expression internationally.

Human Rights in a Networked World

A recent post at the Human Rights First Webpage focuses on the impact of an increasingly digitally networked world on human rights work.  The post, titled “A Networked World: What’s Next for Human Rights” includes a very nice overview video that was commissioned by the group’s partner, Global Partners & Associates, a “…social purpose company working to promote democratic politics, effective governance and human rights.”  The video (embedded below) demonstrates the organic and un-planned nature of digital networking and begins to lay out the hugely positive impact that this sort of social organization can have for human rights defense and activism.

The post further argues that “New technology demands new thinking about how companies, governments and civil society groups can each work to promote Internet freedom, visit our website to learn more.”  See the complete post at the links above for a full discussion of the potential impact of digital networks on human rights.


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