May 10, 2022 - Comments Off on April Newsletter 2022: DRF launches Annual Report 2021

April Newsletter 2022: DRF launches Annual Report 2021

Policy Initiatives

DRF launched Annual Report 2021

DRF launched its annual report 2021 which is a summation of the work we have done over the year, the people helped, and the milestones we’ve achieved!

Link to annual report: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Annual-Report-2021.pdf

Policy Papers: Perspectives on Gendered Disinformation

DRF launched its anthology titled “Policy Papers: Perspectives on Gendered Disinformation” throughout March and April 2022. The research study, with contributions from 6 authors, is brings feminist perspectives from the Global South to the subject of disinformation. A must read for anyone interested in these subjects and the future of the internet!

The anthology/report can be accessed here.

DRF condemns arrests and harassment for online speech and dissent.

DRF released a statement condemning the arrests and harassment for online speech and dissent on political party workers. Read our full statement here.

DRF signed an MoU with Bali Memorial Trust

An MoU was signed between DRF and Bali Memorial Trust this week. This agreement is a formal recognition of a fruitful partnership in which both organizations will try their best to help each other to the best of their abilities with the services they can provide.

Online Campaigns

Phishing Scams

DRF shared an awareness-raising infographic on phishing scams and how they are becoming more and more common as the use of social media rises worldwide.

#WomenMakingWaves

DRF continued with its women making waves campaign and celebrated the feminist icon Asma Jahangir! Asma Jahangir left behind a legacy based on her work in human rights that is as powerful as it is inspiring!

Trainings’/Workshops

New Agendas for Data Justice

April 6. 2022

DRF took part in a panel discussion titled “New Agendas for Data Justice” hosted by the Alan Turing Institute to talk about its participation in the multi-country project on data justice.

Details of the panel can be found here.

Details of the data justice project can be accessed here.

Online Safety Workshop

April 18, 2022

DRF conducted a workshop with media professionals, particularly focusing on Urdu media, to build their understanding and capacity in using safe online practices to advance their work in digital journalism. The workshop was held in Lahore and was attended by 17 people in total.

Meeting with Ombudsperson:

April 12, 2022

DRF’s legal team had a meeting with the Ombudsperson (Punjab) and submitted proposed amendments to ‘The (Punjab) Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act’. During the meeting, the challenges faced by the survivors of sexual harassment at workplace were discussed. Moreover, the possibility of collaboration was considered.

Press/Media Coverage

Digital rights body receives 4,441 blackmailing complaints

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline received 4441 blackmailing complaints in 2021 alone.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/952849-digital-rights-body-receives-4-441-blackmailing-complaints

Civil Liberties Groups Urge Social Media Platforms to Better Protect Free Flow of Information in Crisis Zones

DRF signed a statement with other civil liberties groups on how Russia's invasion of Ukraine underscores the need to plan for emergencies and treat all crisis zones even-handedly.

Read the full statement here:

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/human-rights-groups-urge-social-media-platforms-better-protect-free-flow-information

COVID19/Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In March of 2022, the Cyber Harassment Helpline catered to 206 unique cases of online violence. The majority of the complaints received by our team were made by women. Callers on the helpline range from lawyers and journalists to members of minority groups, too.

You can reach out to us at 0800-39393 or helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk .

IWF Portal

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.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk
StopNCII.org

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.

https://stopncii.org

April 13, 2022 - Comments Off on March 2022 Newsletter: Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day this March!

March 2022 Newsletter: Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day this March!

Campaigns:

Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day on 8th March

For Women’s Day this year, DRF launched its long awaited campaign, “Women Making Waves” which highlighted the achievements of women across a diverse range of fields. The spirit, joy, resilience and hard work of women such as Asma Jahangir, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Hina Jillani and Jehan Ara was celebrated.

As part of our campaign, a virtual panel was held in the form of a Tweetchat in which speakers were invited to share their experiences and thoughts  regarding Digital Feminism.

DRF Collaborates with META to launch StopNCII

DRF worked alongside Meta to launch the StopNCII (Stop Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse) for users in Pakistan. The portal, available in English and Urdu, allows any victims of online blackmailing and extortion to preemptively prevent intimate images to be uploaded onto the platform without their consent.

The portal can be accessed through this link: https://stopncii.org/ or by reaching out to DRF’s Helpline

Policy Initiatives

Survey on Digital Engagement and Experiences of Youth

DRF is conducting research on the “Digital Engagement and Experiences of Pakistani Youth” to map issues faced by young people in Pakistan vis-a-viz the internet. Help us spread the word by sharing the survey among 18 - 35 year olds in Pakistan.

Access the survey: https://t.co/O9fWVCZ4er.

Trainings and Workshops

DRF hosts session with Medical Students on Online Violence

DRF held a session with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on Online Violence. Seerat Khan and Hyra Basit conducted a session with IFMSA with students from Allama Iqbal medical university on online violence and the legal landscape currently present in Pakistan. The session was attended by 43 students online in which they shared their experience of navigating online spaces.

UNDP Panel on Gender Equality for a Sustainable Tomorrow

International Women's Day 2022 Online Deliberation: "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow"- On 9th March DRF’s Program Manager Seerat Khan took part in an online panel on Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow for UNDP. The panel had Rukshanda Naz (Ombudsperson KP), Rabia Javeri (Chairperson National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR)), Seerat Khan (Senior Program Manager DRF) and Tahira Abdullah (Independent Human Rights Defender). The session was moderated by Salman Asif ( Senior Human Rights and Social Protection Expert UNDP). Each panelist highlighted different themes of gender based violence in Pakistan and discussed the current discourse on it. The session was in light of the International Women’s Day.

Nighat Dad Moderates Panel, “Justice, not #Hastags”

On March 5th 2022, Nighat Dad moderated a panel titled “Justice, not #hashtags: Navigating Violence Against Women and its Digital Reflection” as part of the WOW Festival 2022. The panel included DRF’s Shmyla Khan along with Imaan Mazari and Asma Shirazi. The discussion was centered around the importance and limitations of online spaces in pursuing gender justice in Pakistan.

The panel can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4HepVth81o&list=PLrgMMGAhwz5geDjpuxXZQnEwO-vwNfv7Q

Panel on Importance of Free Speech

An excellent panel was held by The Future of Free Speech on free speech and content moderation on 17th March, 2022.  Experts from the industry, academia and civil society were all present and shared their views on the importance and relevance of free speech in today’s day and age.

Stakeholder Dialogue by CPDI attended by DRF

DRF attended a stakeholder dialogue by CPDI on Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2021 on the 29th of March. The dialogue had meaningful conversations around strong local governments and making them more inclusive. The consultations was attended by MPA’s, civil society, lawyers and judges working on the issue.

DRF’s Meeting with NCHR:

DRF’s team met with the National Commission of Human Rights in Lahore to discuss issues of digital rights, including data protection, content moderation and safety. This meeting was held on 14th March, 2022.

DRF takes part in Report Launch by GPAI 2022

As part of its research as a pilot partner with the Alan Turning Institute UK, DRF took part in the GPAI 2022 “Report launch: advancing research and practice on data justice” panel. Shmyla Khan, the director for research and policy presented DRF’s findings at the panel. This panel was held on 23rd of March, 2022.

You can learn more about the project here.

The panel can be viewed here

DRF Team Meets with Ombudsperson, Punjab

DRF’s team met with the Ombudsperson (Punjab) on 30th March, 2022 to discuss issues faced by survivors of harassment at the workplace and accordingly proposed amendments to the law.

Workshops on Digital Rights Awareness Held in 3 Districts by DRF

DRF conducted 6 one-day workshops in partnership with Simorgh between March 16 to 25, 2022 in three districts of Punjab (Lahore, Kasur and Toba Tek Singh). The workshops by DRF focused on issues of online safety and digital rights awareness for communities.

Press and Media Coverage

katalystlabspk

@LabsKatalyst

#KatalysingKween @nighatdad is a force to reckon with! She is a lawyer and founder of @DigitalRightsPK focused on making the internet a safe space for everyone, especially women in Pakistan & South Asia

We invite you to our first discussion in three-part webinar series titled "Access to Justice: Obstacles & the way forward”

Topic: No honor in killing - The law & its implication (Review of Criminal Law Amendments 2016 - Mar 2, 2022 06:00 PM

Covid-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 151 complaints in February

In February, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total 151 complaints.  Majority of these complaints were received through the medium of calls received on our Helpline number.  Types of cases reported were mainly linked to cyber harassment. However, cases of domestic violence, general inquiry and financial fraud were also recorded.

The Cyber Harassment Helpline receives calls from individuals belonging to a range of professions, including journalism, civil society and media personnel. Cyber Harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of their profession or status in society.

April 7, 2022 - Comments Off on February 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches its Pro-bono Legal Network to Support Women and Girls Experiencing Gender-based Violence Cases.

February 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches its Pro-bono Legal Network to Support Women and Girls Experiencing Gender-based Violence Cases.

Policy Initiatives

Ab Aur Nahi - Pro Bono Lawyer Network

In light of increased cases of domestic violence against women and young girls, DRF decided to relaunch the ‘Ab aur Nahin’ initiative. This initiative has been developed by the legal team and is an attempt to create an expansive and supportive community of capable lawyers. These lawyers will offer their services for free to women and children who have undergone abuse and do not have the means to fund their legal expenses.

These services will hence constitute pro bono legal services. The aim is to bring together like minded individuals to support those in need.

To become a part of this initiative to help women and gender minorities, sign up here: https://t.co/s66fm56vyd

Digital Engagement and Experiences of Pakistani Youth Survey:

A survey on the Digital experiences and engagement of young Pakistanis was circulated in February. This survey and study is being conducted to look at patterns of the youth with regard to their usage of social media and the role it plays in their day to day lives.

We would love your input! This survey will only take a few minutes, we would really appreciate it if you could spare the time and fill it out! Find the survey here!:https://forms.gle/rQZ7JXYexpuzeSxP7…

Trainings and Workshops

Safe and Democratic Online Spaces in Pakistan - Session

DRF conducted the Safe and Democratic Online Spaces in Pakistan session with human rights defenders. This session was hosted online on Zoom and was based  on online safety and the  digital landscape. The session was held on the 16th and 17th of February, 2021. The session was attended by 18 participants.

Campaigns

The Cyber Harassment Helpline January 2022 Activity

The start of 2022 has been a demanding and busy time for the Helpline, with 242 new complaints registered. 181 of these complaints were calls made to our Helpline.

Once more, we predominantly received complaints made by women (161) who were cyber harassment, blackmailing and unsolicited contact.

We also directly help human rights defenders such as journalists, lawyers and activists, who are susceptible to online hate speech and bullying

Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you or anyone you know is experiencing cyber harassment or hate speech online.

Media and Press Coverage:

Nighat Dad speaks at Information and Democracy Forum Panel

Nighat Dad spoke at the panel based on information and the need for a proactive democratic governance system in the Digital space. She is the vice-chair of @Forum_InfoD,  and joined remotely to talk about our efforts to establish an International Observatory on information and democracy.

#MediaFreedomConference #MediaFreedom

Nighat Dad speaks on Hate Speech and Challenges to Governance at

Nighat Dad joined a group of panelists as a member of the Oversight Board. She joined in for an online public plenary at #IMCKUGU and spoke about hate speech and the challenges to governance as a consequence.

This online panel was held on February 15th, 2022 at 14:00 PKT.

Nighat shared some insights on how the Oversight Board is trying to balance the interests of users and communities around the world.

You can watch the full session at https://bit.ly/3LO4gig

Nighat Dad speaks at Panel, “Cybercrime: A Digital Threat”

Our Executive  Director Nighat Dad spoke at the panel “Cybercrime: A Digital Threat” this Monday & discussed various threats such as stalking, stealing of identities & selling of personal data which are quickly becoming global threats to online communities.

Watch here: https://tinyurl.com/mjk6x3c

Covid-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline Officers take the first Thursday of every month for self-care!

The Cyber Harassment Helpline will not be available on Thursday, 3rd February on account of being a self-care day for Helpline Officers. This gives them time to unwind and return to their posts rejuvenated! You can always reach out to us on our socials in case you need to!

 

 

 

March 3, 2022 - Comments Off on January 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

January 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

Policy Initiatives

DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

DRF launched it's last edition of Digital 50.50 for 2021 in January. The issue focused on fighting gender based violence and covered features and research articles penned down by our network of women journalists. It can be accessed on DRF's website here:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAEzo1W7s7I/1OaMaXQdK7uMaOTJoNW-bw/view

 

New Issue of Hamara Internet

After a successful relaunch of our Hamara Internet website, DRF launched new content on the website! New Vlogs, Blogs and E-Bulletin articles were shared on the website with the theme being gender based violence.The content shed light on varying forms and aspects of gender based violence on society at large.

Visit the HI website here: https://hamarainternet.org/

DRF backs Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, Amendment 2022.

The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Act, 2022, drafted by the Ministry of Human Rights with input from women’s rights groups & lawyers has been lauded as a ‘revolutionary step’.

Read more: https://www.geo.tv/latest/396170-revolutionary-step-bill-to-protect-women-against-harassment-at-workplace-becomes-law

Submission to Special Rapporteur on Right to Freedom of Expression

DRF made  a submission to the Special Rapporteur on Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression for a report on “Opportunities, Challenges and Threats to Media in the Digital Age”.

Submission can be found on our website here.

Stories of Women Journalists: Initiative launched by DRF to support Journalists in Pakistan

DRF launched its “Stories of Women Journalists” an important initiative thatt sheds light on the real life experiences of women journalists in relation to experiencing cyber harassment and online abuse. The stories are real life accounts of the varying forms of harassment women in the field have had to face as a consequence of choosing a profession in journalism in Pakistan.

DRF Commemorates Annual Data Privacy Day

In honour of Data Privacy Day being observed world over on 28th January. DRF shared important discussions held at its 8th National Data Privacy Conference in Islamabad, which occurred in November of 2021. DRF has done extensive work on data privacy through it's Data Protection & Privacy portfolio. Privacy is a core tenet of the advocacy work we do, and we have conducted various studies & researches on this topic.

#DataPrivacyDay

Here is some of our research:https://tinyurl.com/mv4626a

Also, you can access all the panels held at the conference at the link to our YouTube channel here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cweQhKjqU4Q

Panels and Webinars

Nighat Dad speaks as Guest Lecturer at ITU on Surveillance and Data Privacy

Nighat spoke at Information Technology University as a guest lecturer for a course on 24th January, 2022. She discussed the relevant topics of surveillance and Data Privacy in today’s day and age.The theme discussed was  contextualized in Pakistan.

Nighat Dad speaks at American Bar Association Virtual  Event on Data Security and Digital Privacy

Our Executive Director, Nighat, spoke at the virtual session hosted by the American Bar Association on 'Data security and digital privacy in the Asia-Pacific region', on 26th Jan alongside Michael Pang (@Protiviti), and Patel Champa @patel_champa (@CrisisGroup).

Events and Training Sessions

DRF Attends Stakeholder Consultation Hosted by UNDP on Gender Gap in Tech

DRF attended the Stakeholder Consultation: Time to Close the Gender Gap in Tech by UNDP in which a much needed discussion around gender and technology took place. DRF shared it’s own research on the subject and how more needs to be done in order to make the internet a safer and inclusive space.

Media Coverage

Executive Director of DRF, Nighat Dad was mentioned in an article produced by UNDP regarding the Development Advocate Pakistan project review. For the report, “The Equality Paradigm, Nighat was quoted saying, "Digital technologies are central to human rights activism in bearing witness of lived realities, developing campaigns for human rights and placing demands of govts & the international community.”

DRF Speaks with  Creators of Comic “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

DRF spoke to the creators of the Comic “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures” and to gain an insight into the motivation, creative process and ideation that went behind the brilliant piece.

Read the blog featuring @azizalaziza & @SiddiquiZuha here: https://t.co/O1sEKnylJw

Nighat Dad’s Work Featured in Feminish Tech Principles Initiative

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad was featured in Feminist Tech Principles put together with Superrr Lab. She was asked to share her “Feminist Tech Principle” which she stated as “acccessibility, equitable participation and representation.” You can find her contributions here: https://tinyurl.com/485c4jjt

You can access groovy and interesting website for Feminist Tech Principles here: http://feministtech.org

Covid-19 Updates

In January of 2022,  the Cyber Harassment Helpline recorded 191 complaints received, out of which 160 complaints were calls.

We predominately dealt with cases or cyber harassment & received a number of complaints by journalists who were receiving threats and ongoing instances of hacking. If you are experiencing any form of cyber harassment or suspect someone may be, do not hesitate to reach us at 0800-39393 or contact us on our social media platforms.

 

February 22, 2022 - Comments Off on Civil Society Strongly Condemns the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022

Civil Society Strongly Condemns the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022

February 22, 2022

We, a coalition of civil society organisations, are alarmed by the enactment of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 as it is an affront to online free expression in the country, amounting to unprecedented censorship and chilling of free speech in digital spaces. The Ordinance runs afoul of Articles 19 and 19A of the Constitution of Pakistan which guarantees freedom of expression. Furthermore, the process by which the amendments have been made, arbitrarily and via Ordinance bypassing Parliament, is an affront to democratic values.

The Ordinance expands on the already problematic section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA) to make it a non-bailable offence. The offence of criminal defamation under section 20 has already been used to target journalists, political opponents and survivors of gender-based violence, leading to calls from civil society to repeal the section. Instead of paying heed to these calls, the government has, in a blatant disregard to human rights, chosen to expand the section further to apply to legal persons as opposed to “natural persons” as was previously covered. This Ordinance seeks to include defamation of “public figure or a holder of public office” within the ambit of the section which will have the effect of insulating those in power from any criticism. It is obvious that the sole purpose of this Ordinance is to make it criminally punishable to criticise the state and its officials, against settled jurisprudence that extends protections through defamation to private persons as opposed to public figures who lesser protections.

Furthermore, criminal defamation is internationally recognised to be violative of the freedom of expression, especially when civil remedies exist in the law. While the freedom of expression under the Constitution is not absolute, it bears noting that defamation is not part of the provisos to Article 19 in the Constitution. The amendments, additionally, which mean the expansion of criminal sanctions on the fundamental right to free speech are neither proportionate (as they expand the term of punishment from 3 to 5 years) nor necessary.

Secondly, the use of an Ordinance to amend a law passed by Parliament is extremely worrisome and part of an alarming trend where the government is using its extraordinary powers of Ordinance-making to erode the powers of the Parliament and lawmaking institutions. This is a blatant disregard for the Constitution, which only allows for ordinances to be in extraordinary situations when parliament is not in session and cannot be called into session to address an issue that requires immediate action. Furthermore, this is violative of the principle of the separation of powers as the executive branch through the cabinet and President are overstepping into the legislature’s domain. It is obvious that the government does not wish to pass laws through consultation, allowing no opportunity for discussion or debate–the very objective of the Ordinance itself.

We call on the citizens of Pakistan to recognise this Ordinance for what it is–an attack on their Constitutional right to free expression and access to information. If allowed to stand, this Ordinance will have the effect of completely silencing any differing opinions or forms of expression in the country. It is imperative that opposition parties, who erred when they promulgated PECA in the first place, course correct and block this Ordinance from becoming a permanent feature of the law. Lastly, the government is urged to immediately withdraw the Ordinance and refrain from presenting it for assent once the three-month lifespan of the Ordinance lapses. Instead, we call upon all political parties to repeal section 20 should be done through the Parliament given that it runs afoul the Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

Signatories:

AGHS
Alliance for Diversity and Pluralism in Media (ADPM)
ASR Resource Center
Bolo Bhi
Courting The Law
Digital Rights Foundation 
DigiMap
Freedom Network 
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA)
Joint Action Committee (JAC)
Media Matters for Democracy 
Pakistan Press Foundation 
Public Lawyers’ Front (PLF)

January 21, 2022 - Comments Off on December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

Policy Initiatives

16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

For 16-days of Activism against Gender-based violence. The theme for 2021 was “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!” DRF was honoured to collaborate with esteemed government body, Ministry of Human Rights to launch a joint campaign tackling the subject of gender-based violence, and the intersection between violence in online and offline spaces.

DRF designed and spearheaded the campaign with posts almost everyday, touching on a variety of important issues related to 16-days. From November 25th, 2021 to December 10th, 2021, DRF and MoHR posted a series of posts which were informational, focused on raising awareness and finding solutions to the pervasive issues of harassment and cyber harassment which women deal with on a daily basis. This 16-day period was concluded on International Human Rights Day.

DRF was thrilled to be partnering with the prestigious Ministry, currently lead by Shireen Mazari, to come up with a campaign that had significant reach and impact during this period.

#16daysofactivism #Endviolenceagainstwomennow

Cyber-Harassment Helpline Turns 5!

On December 5th, 2021 the Cyber-Harassment Helpline celebrated 5 years of providing services to survivors of cyber harassment, domestic abuse and overall violence. Over the last 5 years, the Helpline has catered to 11,300 complaints by providing professional guidance, mental health assistance and legal advice.

We are proud of the efforts of our Helpline team, and hope to continue the work we are doing to deal with the rampant cyber-harassment that exists in this country, and beyond its borders, too.

Hamara Internet Second Issue Highlights the work of Women Journalists

DRF’s Hamara Internet initiative, which aims to create a space online where women can reclaim the internet through sharing blogs, vlogs and articles based around their life experiences, released its second issue. This issue focused on the trials, tribulations and experiences faced by women journalists in Pakistan as they navigate through the hate and abuse they receive online by virtue of pursuing their careers in the media.

Head over to the link to check out the revamped Hamara Internet website: https://hamarainternet.org

Human Rights Day Shed Light on Journalists and Amendments to Journalist Protection Bill

DRF concluded its 16-days of activism campaign by speaking to women journalists about the struggles they are confronted with as a result of pursuing journalism in Pakistan. This was a fitting end to the campaign and discussed the human rights violations present in the country with regard to journalism, and the progress and steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights to provide increased protections to journalists.

Journalists we spoke with also talked about the significance of campaigns like #16Days in raising awareness about violence against women.

DRF calls on EU to Impose Sanctions on NSO Group over Pegasus Surveillance Tech

DRF was among the 86 organisations that have called on the EU to impose sanctions on the NSO group that distributes Israeli company Pegasus' surveillance tech.

Pegasus is spyware developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group that can be unknowingly installed on mobile phones operating on iOS and Android. The 2021 Pegasus software was exposed for its true purpose in the later half of 2021and its effects continued to spill over till the end of 2021, with more Rights organizations urging for calls to action.

Read the article by the Guardian here:https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware

DRF sets up Online Portal with IWF to report Images of Child Sexual Abuse Online

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online. Child sexual abuse online through the uploading of images/videos of children is a crime and a human rights violation.

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online.

Report here on our website: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/services/

@IWFhotline

Nighat Dad lobbies for “Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill” Amendments

Digital Rights Activist and Executive Director at DRF@nighatdad briefed the Senate Standing Committee on the relevant Human rights regarding the “Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2021”.

Training Sessions

DRF and Ministry of Human Rights Collaborate through Training

As part of the 16-days of activism campaign with MoHR, DRF’S Cyber Harassment Helpline team conducted a training session on 8th December, 2021  in Islamabad. Helpline Officers from MoHR’s Toll-free Helpline were told how DRF differentiates between cyber harassment and other forms of harassment. PECA and its use and implementation was also discussed along with a fruitful discussion around possible collaborations in the future.

Both teams shared their experiences and knowledge gained through providing services to victims of violence, whether online or offline.

Virtual Gender Sensitization Training with Journalists

DRF conducted a gender sensitization training with journalists online from across Pakistan during the 16-days of activism campaign. The session focused on how to report on gender based violence and the role and responsibility of the media while reporting such cases. The session took place on 8th December, 2021.

DRF holds Mentorship session with Saher Ghazi on Digital Media

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a mentorship session with digital media strategist and trainer Saher Ghazi on Pitching stories for Digital media. The session was attended by DRF’s Network of Women Journalists on 29th December, 2021.

Panels,Webinars and Press

Panel “Community-centric approaches to ending violence against women”

To scale up the debate around activism to end gender-based violence during 16-days of activism, UNDP in Pakistan's PunjabSDGsUnit and HomeNetPakistan jointly hosted a panel discussion on  ending #VAW and rehabilitation of victims into society, to #LeaveNoOneBehind.

Nighat Dad was invited as a speaker to discuss the issue at the panel.

Stay with us for updates!

Nighat Dad speaks at Open Government Partnership, Korea 2021.

On Dec 17th, 2021 Nighat Dad spoke at the Inclusive Digital Innovation Plenary

and highlighted the importance of understanding that safety on online spaces is not experienced uniformly across varying contexts, cultures and circumstances.

Nighat said, "For instance, women journalists are more likely to experience online violence and abuse than their male counterparts."

Nighat Dad attends UN’s Internet Governance Forum Poland, 2021

Nighat Dad spoke at the main session of #IGF2021 about regulations that are being badly framed or narrowly cover issues, this do more harm than good & we can’t come up with universal standards without addressing the imbalance of North-South regulatory approaches over content. She linked the Oversight Board of Facebook that Nighat is a part of.

Nighat Dad speaks at Panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder”

Nighat spoke at panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder” on December 7, 2021. The panel was about the digital space which continues to extend the promise of extraordinary opportunities for expanding the voice and agency of women, girls and marginalized groups, it has fallen short of our ideals. The panel discussed the impact of the chilling effect on the political ambitions, engagement and empowerment of women and girls, causing many not to step forward, to withdraw or to self-censor. The discussion was a @CCRInitiative.

Nighat Dad’s Lifestory Illustrated Beautifully in Comic, “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

Nighat Dad was featured as the central character, through which the story and origin of Digital Rights as a feminist movement in Pakistan has taken root, and evolved into a revolution for young women, girls and gender minorities around the country. The comic traces the evolution of Pakistan’s feminist digital rights movement, spearheaded by our very own, Nighat Dad.

Covid-19 Updates: Cyber Harassment Helpline

To commemorate 5 years of loyal service to survivors of cyber harassment, DRF created a video outlining the work we have done in these 5 years, along with the number and varying cases we have dealt with over the past half decade. The month was dedicated to a campaign which highlighted the work different members of the Helpline do, along with general insight and information into how we keep our Cyber Harassment Helpline running smoothly.

Watch the video here: https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1475472365375356932?s=20

 

 

 

 

January 11, 2022 - Comments Off on The Minds of the Women Behind “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures” : A Comic

The Minds of the Women Behind “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures” : A Comic

As 2021 drew to a close, established freelance journalist Zuha Siddiqui and talented Illustrator, Aziza launched a project they had been working on for what has now been over 2 years in the making.

The two have worked together tirelessly to release the original comic “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”, which looks at the life story and struggles of Digital Rights Activist, Lawyer and CEO of Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad.

The comic is a visual and imaginative treat, masterfully telling the story of the humble originals and challenging beginnings of Nighat’s family. Even though viewers and sceptics may believe they know the basics of Nighat’s life history; an ambitious young woman who set out to achieve more and dreamt the dream of a feminist movement rooted in the Digital space, the comic is sure to surprise its readers, whoever they may be.
The comic is imbued with personal anecdotes and instances that were monumental in shaping the trajectory of Nighat’s life, and it reads like a story with a well thought out plot. This is because Zuha spent hours speaking to Nighat via Zoom and learned in great detail about her life, her passion for Digital Rights, and the pain-staking journey that has been the inception of Digital Rights Foundation and the subsequent Cyber Harassment Helpline which has been the first of its kind in the region.

*Excerpts of illustrations from the Comic

When speaking to Zuha and Aziza about the comic after its initial release garnered a lot of positive attention and feedback, we learned that Zuha had a meticulous process that allowed for her research and subsequent writing of the comic to be well researched and authentic.

Zuha set out researching all about Digital Rights in Pakistan, the pioneers of feminist movements, and spoke to several resourceful contacts that provided her with useful information. She then got into contact with Nighat (even though for the purpose of her work, she would have preferred meeting her subject in person and immersing herself in Nighat’s world and surroundings).

Once the research was done, and the narrative of the story had been laid out in front of her, Zuha took Aziza on board: an exceptionally talented and creative illustrator who owed all of her success in beautifully illustrating such a crucial story to the creative process that her and Zuha embarked on together.

They created a story board, went through the story in depth, and started bringing it to life visually. Aziza’s imagination and drawing prowess coupled with Zuha’s passion for documenting and telling important stories eventually created the brilliant comic which came to be known as “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

When speaking to these talented women about why they chose this particular story to tell, and what motivated them to embark on this project, the answer was simple:

“We wanted to create an archive”

An archive of movements and of stories. Stories of women who are spearheading movements in Pakistan. Women who are increasing awareness about Digital Rights and all that the Digital space has to offer. And women who are doing it with the interest of creating space for other women and gender minorities and setting out a path that others can tread on. Not just in the digital sphere, but well beyond that as well.

As for the person in question, Nighat was blown away by the heartfelt and beautifully captured depiction of her story. Reading the comic which summarizes decades of hard work and struggles to work on a mission she believes in, left her speechless and extremely overwhelmed with appreciation for the efforts made by Zuha and Aziza.

The image above is an illustration of Nighat at a crucial moment in her journey to becoming who she is: holding her newborn son and becoming aware of the limitations and flaws of the legal system that is supposed to uphold our rights.

The comic is an honest, heartfelt, and inspiring true story that humanizes its subject and her difficult journey while becoming one of Pakistan’s household names.

Twitter handles for the creators:

@SiddiquiZuha

@azizazazaza

December 11, 2021 - Comments Off on November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

Events and Training Sessions

Digital Rights Foundation conducted it’s 8th annual National Data Privacy Conference on Wednesday the 24th of November, 2021 at Marriott Hotel Islamabad. The conference brought together experts from various sectors which included the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, NADRA and other relevant stakeholders.

The event started off with a keynote address from the Executive Director of DRF Nighat Dad, who stated that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right, however what that means in the digital age requires a detailed and nuanced discussion that includes all stakeholders--the state, businesses, civil society, and ordinary citizens.”

The first panel titled, “How Private is the Digital ID in Pakistan” featured Tariq Malik, Chairperson NADRA. Mr. Malik highlighted the importance of a data protection law in Pakistan to ensure standardization of data privacy practices as an important part of the “social contract between citizens and the government”.

Drafting the Data Protection Legislation: Progress and Next Step”’ was the second panel of the day, including Bilal Abassi, Director IT of the Ministry of IT and Technology and Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO of Katalyst Labs. Ms. Jahan Ara highlighted that “a strong personal data protection law needs to apply both to the public and private sector because public bodies hold large amounts of data on citizens.”

The final panel, “Privacy from a Human Rights Perspective”, was split into two parts; the first half with DRF Executive Director Nighat Dad in conversation with Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari. Minister Mazari stated that the “right to privacy is a fundamental human right, but the right needs to be balanced with other competing rights.” She went on to highlight that “privacy is even more important for women, just look at the Noor Muqadam case mainstream media aired footage that caused so much distress for her family. The second half of the panel had Usama Khilji, Director at Bolo Bhi. Mr. Khilji stressed the importance of a strong commission for privacy: “We need a privacy commission that is independent of the proposed privacy commission that is separate from the government that can hold the state and powerful actors accountable.”

The annual Conference is a banner event for the Digital Rights Foundation and this year’s event drew in as substantial and informed an audience and guest panel as ever and was covered extensively by local media.

Workshop for Journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting

DRF held a workshop with journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting in Mainstream Media & Digital Journalism on 3rd November. The workshop had journalists from across Pakistan who discussed why gender sensitivity is important in the media and what can be done to make it better.

Digital Well-Being and Safety Fellowship for Women Journalists

DRF held it’s very first Digital Well Being and Safety Fellowship in Lahore with women journalists from across Pakistan at Nishat Hotel. The fellowship was held on the 18th, 19th and 20th November with key modules designed specifically for journalists to train them on digital safety, legal recourse in the country and journalists mental health and well being. The training was attended by 21 women journalists from across the country.

Training Session at Learning Alliance School

DRF conducted two sessions at Learning Alliance this month. The first was a panel discussion on ‘Navigating Online Spaces’ geared towards O and A Level students, where Hyra Basit represented DRF on the panel along with Wafa Asher, ex-President of FemSoc at LUMS. The second session was held on ‘Safe Online Surfing’ with students from Grades 6-8 and was more interactive.

Panels and Webinars:

Nighat Dad speaks at panel at CWASU

Executive Director Nighat Dad was invited by the Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) on 5th November to speak at the #JoiningTheDots webinar on cyberspace and new technologies. She was called the 'digital warrior battling the patriarchy' at the event.

Paris Peace Forum Panel

Shmyla Khan took part in the panel “Prevent and heal: Addressing physical and digital violence against women in times of Covid-19” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November. She spoke about the work that the organization is doing, along with Lisa Davis (MADRE - Addressing Violence & Normalizing Equality), Heloise Onumba-Bessonnet (Responsable projet Re-Création et pôle santé, LOBA - Re-Création), Triona Pender (ActionAid Ireland - Behaviour Change to Address Inequality).

Nighat Dad speaks at Paris Peace Forum panel

Nighat Dad spoke on the virtual  panel titled “Curbing harmful content: Social media for peace” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12th November. She spoke of the need for policy makers to take local contexts into account when regulating social media in different regions.

Nighat Dad speaks about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship at  Digital Youth Summit 2021

Nighat spoke at KPK’s Digital Youth Summit 2021 on the 13th and 14th of November about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship, along with  Misinformation, Cyber Harassment and the need for Data Protection Laws which adequately safeguard the privacy of  users online. Our Director for Policy and Research was also a speaker at the KPDYS’21 Summit and spoke about Misinformation in the Digital Age.

Nighat Dad speaks at AJCON21 Panel, “Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming”

Nighat Dad was invited to AJCON21 on 20th November as a speaker to speak on the panel, “ Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming” in which she spoke about how provisions in the law have been weaponized to silence vulnerable victims, including human rights defenders and journalists.

Panel at Internet Governance Forum 2021

 Nighat Dad spoke at the panel  “Creating sustainable value and inclusive society -  the role of digital platforms” at #IGF21 in which she discussed the various ways in which collaboration can be used in new governance models that are human-centric and inclusive.

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF launches Digital 50.50 E-Magazine and Report on Moral Policing

DRF launched new editions of its Digital 50.50 e-magazine and report on the theme of “Moral Policing in Digital Spaces” in Pakistan. DRF conducted research on the issue of moral policing and received stories from various women regarding their experiences with moral policing and its implications. A campaign was launched on social media regarding the various perspectives of women experiencing moral policing which were reflected in their pieces for the Digital 50.50 e-magazine.

DRF Commemorates End Impunity Against Journalists Day with Online Campaign

DRF stood in solidarity for the cause of ending impunity against journalists on November 2nd and launched a campaign on social media sharing stories and reports from women  journalists who have faced threats.

Media Coverage:

Paris Peace Forum Recognition

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline was recognized by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the 80 projects around the word working to end relevant issues of our time. Members from the DRF team also spoke on panels at the Paris Peace Forum.

Appearance on Samaaj show, PTV News

Nighat Dad spoke on PTV News Samaaj show hosted by Muniba Mazari about the impact of social media on  mental health.

PTV News discussion on Illegal Surveillance

On November 26th, Nighat Dad spoke to PTV News about Israeli firm’s Pegasus Software and the lawsuit filed by Apple regarding the state backed surveillance and unlawful use of Apple users information used by the NSO cyber firm group.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In November, DRF received a total of 264 complaints, with 64% of complaints being registered by women. The trend of women experiencing and reporting a greater number of complaints related to cyber harassment and cyber crime has continued.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393.

You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

IWF Portal: 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.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

November 10, 2021 - Comments Off on October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

Policy Initiatives and Online Campaigns:

Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

DRF launched the Hamara Internet website on the International Day of the Girl Child. The website aims to make the Internet a safe space that is inclusive of women belonging to all walks of life.  The website showcases stories, vlogs and blogs from women journalists across Pakistan, and delves into topics relating to gender and technology.

To find out more visit our website below:

www.hamarainternet.org

Campaign on International Day of the Girl Child

DRF conducted a social media campaign on 11th October which marks International Day of the Girl Child. DRF focused on the importance of equal access to technology for girls and women as a crucial factor in ensuring that they can acquire knowledge and information in order to participate in different spheres of life sufficiently.

 

Stakeholders' Consultation on Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online in Pakistan

DRF’s legal team participated in the Stakeholders’ Consultation on the topic “Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online: Prospects and Challenges” on October 9th, 2021. The meeting was organized by the Punjab Bar Council (PBC), Common Laws Company (CLC) and the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA).

The purpose of the consultation was to comprehend the issues and concerns of stakeholders, particularly journalists and human rights defenders in exercising fundamental constitutional freedoms in the online sphere in Pakistan.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security awareness month was observed by raising awareness about key Digital Rights issues such as encryption and the importance of a free and accessible internet for all. DRF’s campaigns were geared towards educating followers about the importance of privacy and accessibility of information online while also celebrating the advantages of the Digital Age.

Events and Training Sessions:

DRF members conduct workshop for Students on Cyber Safety at Skill Share Week

DRF was invited to NGO Hamara Mustaqbil’s skill share week to conduct a workshop on Cyber Safety for students of O-Levels, A’-Levels and Matriculation. The workshop was held on 1st October and was geared towards equipping students with the knowledge related to safeguarding their privacy online and operating responsibly in the digital sphere.

Workshop on Cyber Crimes for Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD)

DRF conducted a workshop for female media professionals on cybercrimes and the important provisions present in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA) that were relevant to such crimes.

Session on Understanding Online Safety

DRF conducted an online session on digital safety and security for media professionals on October 13th, 2021. Participants were introduced to potential cyber concerns and were given tips to secure their online presence as well as sensitive data.

Session on digital safety for women at Dastak Shelter Home

DRF conducted a digital safety and awareness session with women at Dastak shelter home on October 20th, appraising them to digital safety practices and practical tips they can use in their daily lives.

Pakistan’s Legal landscape and Media Law

DRF conducted a workshop for media professionals on October 20th based on understanding Pakistan’s legal landscape and the impact it has on their work in both online and offline spaces.

Training Session at Government College for Women, Lahore

DRF conducted an informative session on cyber harassment and privacy online at Government College for Women, Lahore on October 22nd. Nighat Dad spoke to the young women students about the importance of consent and keeping one’s data safe online. The session included discussions about harassment and how power dynamics are involved when an individual is being targeted online.

Network Engagement Program

DRF organized a one-day digital security training workshop for gender minorities in Lahore on 22nd October, 2021. Twenty-three members from the transgender community participated in the workshop and shared their unfiltered experiences regarding cyber harassment with the group. The session highlighted the by-laws and policy initiatives that were present to safeguard the rights of Pakistani citizens. Tips and detailed information relating to securing personal data was shared with the participants.  Using social media as a tool for advocacy and strategic capacity building was also discussed with the group.

Panel on Digital Disruption of Human Rights by Women in Law

DRF’s Director of Legal Affairs participated in a panel discussion on data protection which was hosted by the Women in Law Initiative, Islamabad Chapter in collaboration with the Ananke Girl Summit. A critical discussion was carried out regarding the Personal Data Protection Bill, and the impact this bill would have on the privacy of individuals online.

Media Coverage

Nighat Dad’s accomplishments in Digital Rights recognized by Ted Fellows Program

Our Executive Director was recognized by the prestigious Ted Fellows Program for her work in fighting against cyber harassment targeted at women and gender minorities. The efforts made by DRF to equip women with the resources and knowledge they require in order to take advantage of the internet were highlighted.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In October, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 292 complaints, with a majority of complaints being reported by females. These included 11 instances of domestic violence and physical harassment.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: Since the start of COVID-19, domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. DRF has relaunched its Ab Aur Nahin initiative which is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. Please contact us if you require assistance, free of charge.

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal: 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.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

 

October 7, 2021 - Comments Off on September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

Policy Initiatives:

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Statistics, August 2021

The Cyber Harassment Helpline reported receiving 576 complaints in the month of August, with 402 of these complaints being registered by women. A substantial number of complaints (241 in total) were related to varying forms of blackmail as well as the non-consensual use of information by perpetrators online.
These statistics highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence which women face online in Pakistan daily.

Our Helpline is dedicated to assisting victims of cyber harassment by providing support in the form of digital safety guidance, legal aid, and mental health assistance.

You can reach us at 0800-39393, 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.

Submission of comments to Ministry for Personal Data Protection Bill 2021

DRF provided a series of comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MoITT) on its Personal Data Protection Bill of 2021, which is the fourth draft of the Bill released since 2018.

The official document by DRF can be found here:
https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PDPB-2021-Submission-by-DRF.pdf

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF is all set to relaunch its Hamara Internet website

#HamaraInternetKyaHai

The website will feature insightful contributions from women journalists and writers focused on digital rights, gender and technology. New content such as blogs, vlogs and articles will serve as engaging content for our audiences.

DRF launches surveys  on Virtual Learning and Disinformation during the Covid-19 Pandemic

DRF is conducting research on the effects that Covid-19 has had on learning in schools with a focus on the shift  to virtual learning and the outcome this has had. There is also research being conducted on the role that fake news and disinformation have played in providing information to the public regarding crucial issues such as vaccination.

Events and Training Sessions

Retreat for Women Journalists for Digital Rights in Nathia Gali

DRF hosted a residency retreat for Women Journalists from across Pakistan in Nathia Gali from the 10th - 14th of  September. The retreat involved a number of activities geared towards encouraging journalists to inculcate self-care and well-being practices into their daily lives to be able to manage daily stressors better. These involved reinvigorating yoga sessions along with team building exercises such as campfire stories which really allowed the attendees to unwind and bond with each other. It also served as a wonderful opportunity for the journalists to network and create an avenue  of collectivized support which was accessible and effective.

Nighat Dad spoke on the panel “Does One Size Fit All? Regulating Content in the Digital Age”

Nighat participated as a guest speaker in the webinar centered around challenges that governments face in regulating digital content on the internet. The online event was  hosted by Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with BowerGroupAsia, a strategic advisory firm focusing on Asia-Pacific.

Digital Safety Training Session for Women Reporters at the Tribal News Network

Our Digital Safety Trainer Danish held a training session for women reporters organized by TNN on September 20th  in which he provided useful information regarding how one can keep themselves and their data safe while using online platforms.

Consultation Event by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project

DRF attended a Consultation session on the 21st and 22nd of September at Pearl Continental, Lahore to discuss the vision and priorities of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). The event was organized by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project, a joint initiative by the European Union and the Ministry of Human Right in Pakistan. DRF engaged in relevant discussions with the panel and provided recommendations for the NCSW.

“Defending Rights and Challenging Discourse”  Event

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad and Director for Research and Policy, Shmyla Khan attended the Jinnah Institute’s Womansplaining Writer’s Conversation on 27th September, 2021. The panel was hosted by Zahid Rehman, with Rimmel Mohyudin also participating. DRF has contributed towards the Womansplaining book by writing a chapter in it. The book has been edited by Senator Sherry Rehman this year.

You can find the conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiuLNkx6yG0

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad meets with young women journalists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Nighat Dad, along with Marium Chaudry (founder of The Current) met with a group of young women journalists from KPK through an event organized  by the Tribal News Network (TNN) in collaboration with Thomson Foundation. Nighat spoke to the women about her experience working in Digital Rights and how she had gotten to where she was, including the obstacles she faced along the way. The session proved to be inspirational and insightful for the young women who were attending.

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on the Samaa TV Morning Show

Nighat spoke to Samaa TV on Friday, 17th September about the importance of digital literacy regarding social media content that is malicious and classifies as defamation according to the law. She also spoke about the need for ethical journalism and for social media organizations to take  more responsibility in filtering out content that thrives on false information discrimination on their platforms.

Blog post on “Digital and Social Transformations in Pakistan During Covid-19”

DRF’s summer intern worked alongside our Research and Policy team to produce a survey to assess the impact of increased digitization across Pakistan due to the pandemic, and the digital and social transformations that have occurred as a result.

Read the blog here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-and-social-transformations-in-pakistan-during-covid-19/

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal: 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.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk