December 20, 2022 - Comments Off on November 2022 Newsletter: Paris Peace Forum 2022
DRF participated in the fifth edition of the Paris Peace Forum (PPF) from November 11 to 12 in Paris, France. The Forum brought together global leaders and innovators from across the world. DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad participated in three panels and roundtables along with our Director for Research and Policy. The discussions can be accessed virtually below.
“Managing AI risk: perspectives from around the world”, Nighat Dad can be heard here.
“AI in International Development” can be accessed here.
“International Mobilization for the Observatory on Information and Democracy” to be seen here.
“Framing freedom of speech in the digital age” which can be accessed here.
The fourth session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy & the Rule of Law at the UN General Assembly
Nighat Dad spoke at the Fourth session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy & the Rule of Law at the UN General Assembly on the Accelerated digital transformation and the seismic shift that will shape the 21st century. She spoke about accelerated digital transformation and highlighted the importance of online spaces & tech that provide make a global connection. She recognized that technologies have the ability to educate, unite & mobilize & widen democratic participation & discourse.
25th November marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism highlighting the violence against women throughout these 16 days. Let's join hands to fight this violence and create safe spaces for women and gender minorities. #EndViolenceAgainstWomen
This International Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) Day let's stand in solidarity and support WHRDs across the globe and acknowledge the important work that they do in the field. #InternationalWomenHumanRightsDefendersDay
Click here to read the edition below:
RSIL CLC BLOG: “INTO THE METAVERSE: Insights from Meta’s Oversight Board Cases on the Conflict in Ethiopia”
DRF’s Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed wrote an article analyzing Meta’s Oversight Board decisions as they relate to war and conflict using Ethiopia as a case study which was published in the Research Society of International Law (RSIL) Conflict Law Center Blog.
META’S Oversight Board Decision on UK Drill Music
Meta released its decision on its UK Drill Music case (2022-007-IG-MR) in November. For this case, DRF’s Research Team submitted a public comment advising the board by highlighting policy and freedom of expression considerations of the case. In its final decision the Oversight Board took cognizance of some of the points raised by DRF including the need for greater transparency and adherence to due process especially when working with law enforcement officials.
Read the full decision here: https://www.oversightboard.com/decision/IG-PT5WRTLW
Read the full public comment here: https://oversightboard.com/attachment/857566115421658/
End Impunity Against Journalists
DRF collaborated with the National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR) on 2nd November on End Impunity Against Journalists highlighting to make online and offline spaces safer for journalists. DRF and NCHR also mapped a timeline of attacks against journalists in Pakistan and those who faced violence for sharing their voices and work on the Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
Impact of Climate Change on Women (Radio show)
DRF hosted a radio show between journalists who discussed the impact of climate change on women on the 13th of November on FM96 (Multan).
16 Days of Activism: Violence against Human Rights Defenders (Radio show)
DRF hosted a radio show between Communications Officer at NCHR and Program Manager at the Cyber Harassment Helpline on the 29th of November on FM100 (Lahore).
Morning show at PTV News
DRF’s Legal Manager, Irum Shujah spoke on the morning show hosted by Sabookh Syed from PTV news. She joined the show virtually to discuss the role of DRF and its Helpline and then elaborated on the assistance that team DRF usually provides these survivors with. She also spoke about the forms of cyber harassment faced by social media users, DRF’s legal work, laws regarding online violence in Pakistan and the impact of legal irregularities on the criminal justice system in Pakistan.
High-level panel on Implementation of the UN Plan of Action in the Digital Age
DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the high-level panel “Implementation of the UN Plan of Action in the digital age – tackling new challenges” at #SoJ2022 Vienna organized by UNESCO and MFA Austria. She focused on the challenges and solutions too. The panel served as an essential touchpoint for stakeholders to continue the discussion and create new synergies in the fight to make the online sphere one that continues to be conducive to the freedom of expression
DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the #IBAMiami on 2nd November at a panel. She represented the Oversight Board and talked about holding Meta accountable on the panel. She also focused on marginalized groups such as women & gender minorities, who are vulnerable to online violence. The panel was chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy. Nighat shared when she started working on the issue of online violence, it was ignored but over the years we have seen this become endemic and have real-time implications for women across the world particularly women in the Global South, journalists, and human rights defenders.
IGF 2022: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; online gender violence
DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the panel ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; online gender violence’ at IGF 2022. Nighat Dad addressed the primary work of DRF around online gender-based violence through training, legal advice, and mental health support as well as training sessions around the world regarding online safety. It was shared that up to 70% of online harassment cases were reported by women. The main goal of the foundation’s helpline is to make women and girls safer and make them more confident and educated about how to protect themselves online.
Gender Sensitization Training ISB
DRF hosted its gender-sensitive workshops on the 9th of November in Islamabad attended by 24 journalists.
Gender Sensitization Training LHR
DRF hosted its gender-sensitive workshops on the 24th of November in Lahore attended by 16 journalists.
9th National Privacy Conference
DRF hosted its 9th annual National Privacy Conference on the 19th of November, 2022 in Lahore. The conference brought together experts from different fields to discuss this year’s theme of the conference “People & Privacy”, shedding light on the all-encompassing nature of privacy rights and violations that we experience in different strands of society.
The keynote speech was delivered by Angbeen Mirza, a legal academic and an Assistant Professor at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law (SAHSOL), LUMS. Angbeen stated that Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees our privacy, however it is important to operationalize it through a law that protects our right to privacy.
The first panel ‘People on Privacy’ included transgender activist Jannat Ali, journalist Amel Ghani, and Barrister Jannat Kalyar. The panel highlighted the importance of privacy in social movements from a people’s perspective and the need for popularizing privacy and making it more accessible to the masses.
After the panel a debate took place on the topic: ‘This house believes that privacy is a western concept’. The lively debate was led by two teams, each representing participants from DRF’s legal team, Shehrzade Amin and Ms. Aqsa, as well as students from Forman Christian College (FCCU) and Government College University (GCU) Maria Waqar, Muhammad bin Munir, Muhammad Hamza Aziz, and Ali Zar.
The last panel ‘Ensuring Dignity in Privacy Rights’ included Bushra Mahnoor from the Mahwari Justice Campaign, Umer Rajpoot from Todd’s Welfare Society, journalist Mehmal Sarfaraz and senior lawyer and activist Saroop Ijaz. The panel took a different approach and focused on dignity-based perspectives on privacy, centering privacy subjects above all else. The perspectives shared by the panelists highlighted privacy rights in the realities of marginalized populations.The guest of honor and concluding remarks were given by activist and former chairperson of NCSW Khawar Mumtaz. In her closing remarks, she emphasized the importance of art, posters, poetry, and performance in ensuring social change within the feminist movement in Pakistan, and has the potential to change attitudes regarding privacy rights. Ms. Mumtaz announced the winner of the artwork competition Maha Bint Abid who won a cash prize at the event with her artwork which was also displayed at the conference.
Countering Online Misinformation in Pakistan
DRF hosted a second training workshop in Peshawar in collaboration with CFLI on 21st November, 2022. The workshop's goal was to identify misinformation/disinformation, document disinformation and misinformation patterns online, and strengthen fact-checking skills. It was attended by 29 people from various backgrounds. Following the training, attendees were invited to report their experiences with disinformation on the internet, as well as how the workshop will influence their future online interactions.
Workshops with working women on feminist cities and tech
The DRF team hosted a two-day focus group discussion with 10 women from middle and working class backgrounds to get an intersectional understanding of the city and internet infrastructures. The workshops used art as a tool of engagement, and resulted in some amazing feedback.
Regional Convening on Feminist Digital Rights and Justice
DRF took part in the “Regional Convening on Feminist Digital Rights and Justice” in Thailand from November 28 to 29, 2022. The convening was a coming together of feminists and digital rights organisations and activists from across Asia Pascific to chart the future of a feminist and fairer internet.
Design4Democracy (D4D) Coalition Event: Meta Consultation on Ensuring Global Access
In September, DRF was invited to be part of a global stakeholder workshop that drafted recommendations on platform data access for researchers to be presented to Meta’s Data Access Team. Based on that consultation, DRF’s Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed was selected by D4D from a global cohort to be one of 6 presenters of the final draft of the recommendations to the Data Access Team which consisted of Nicole Lyons (Strategic Partner Manager, Academic Partnerships at Meta), Lindsay Hundley (Countering Influence Ops at Meta) and Olga Belogolova (Security Policy at Meta). The event held on 3rd November 2022 was hosted jointly by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
RSIL Conflict Law Center Podcast: “Social Media and War”
DRF’s Director of Research and Policy, Shmyla Khan and Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed were invited by the Research Society of International Law to their Conflict Law Center’s (CLC) Podcast hosted by Team Lead and Research Fellow, Ayesha Malik. In the podcast, DRF’s team discussed the relationship between war and social media.
Link to podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBnGhJe574
Roundtable Discussion on Academic Practice and Information Infrastructure in the Digital Transformation
On November 1st 2022, DRF’s Research Team was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by LUMS Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law. The roundtable was led by Dr. Katharina de la Durantaye, Professor of Law at Freie University (Berlin, Germany) and Dr. Eric Steinhauer, Lawyer and Head of Hagen University Library and Honorary Professor at Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany). The discussion centered around the legal framework especially in the areas of copyright, platform regulation and digital human rights. Other participants included lawyers, policy experts and academics.
‘Gender-based Violence Strengthening Response Mechanism in Punjab’ in collaboration with Aawaz II, Peace and Justice Network and British Council
DRF’s legal team participated in the “Gender-based Violence Strengthening Response Mechanism in Punjab” consultation arranged by Aawaz II and Peace and Justice Network. The sessions had a diverse panel which included Ms. Rafia Kamal, Chairperson of Punjab Women Protection Authority, Ms. Nabila Hakim Khan, Ombudsperson and Ms. Imtiaz Fatima, representing persons with disabilities.
Other than the social challenges and the steps being taken to eradicate Gender Based Violence, the panel discussed prevailing practices which silently condone gender discrimination and violence. They also highlighted the first trans-school opening in July 2021 in the city of Multan and the significance of the recently passed Enforcement of Women’s Property Right Act, 2021, which allows women to approach the Ombudsperson and the civil court simultaneously.
Helpline and Legal session conducted in Bloomfield Hall School Secretariat
Helpline team along with Ms Sheherazade Amin, legal team, went to Bloomfield Hall to deliver a session to the students regarding their digital rights and safeguards that they should be aware of while being present in online spaces. DRF’s team and the students had an interactive session, in which the students posed their personal queries and the team assisted them as much as they possibly could.
Online Safety and Legal Landscape in Pakistan with marginalized groups - 28 November 2022
Legal and DST team delivered an online safety and legal landscape session to almost 15-20 participants. The legal session highlighted the online and offline threats normally faced by the trans community and the related misconceptions related to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Riqhts) Act, 2018. Other than the basic rights, police powers and responsibilities were also discussed. The overall session was interactive, and the participants shared their queries and personal experiences in detail.
Cyber Harassment Helpline
The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 263 complaints in November with 134 of these from women. If you’re encountering a problem online you can reach out to our helpline on 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am till 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.
DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu, and Pashto.
Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.
Climate change has had devastating consequences for the country and with the ongoing flood crisis there has been immense loss to property and life. It’s important to donate in this hour of crisis, however it’s also important to verify who you’re donating to.
The following resources are available for anyone who wants to donate during this crisis.
https://www.floodpk.com/ https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/donate-to-pakistan-flood-relief https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u4EcNZIhKUltDc7ZPiMT3CLrVooFLFd_4AyKM1raEZs/edit#gid=139435833