Vulnerable women in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, often lack the necessary knowledge and skills to use digital media platforms to advocate for their rights and to highlight their concerns in a safe way. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
As part of its efforts to promote communication rights around the world, WACC is proud to announce the launch of its new Communication Rights in a Digital Age Programme.
The programme will support civil society organizations around the world working to advance digital media literacy and the use of open source software among marginalized communities, support community-managed telecommunications infrastructure, and build the capacity of civil society to participate in policy making processes related to communication policy and digital rights.
The launch of this initiative follows WACC’s action in 2019 to join the Just Net Coalition and to endorse its Digital Justice Manifesto.
In 2020-2021, WACC will work with five partners in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to develop 12-18-month -long projects that help advance the democratization of digital resources by drawing on a communication rights framework, both at the community and at a public policy and legislation level.
With the support of Bread for the World- Germany, the following projects will receive technical and financial support from WACC:
Integrating Digital and Gender Justice into Argentina’s Solidarity Economy, implemented by Huvaiti Co-Operative. . This project seeks to promote principles of digital justice and gender equality among the membership of Argentina’s economic solidarity movement, which employs about 10 million people across the country. They include employees of hundreds of cooperatives and workers’ organizations. Main avenues to achieve the project’s objectives include specialized training for movement leaders, and the production of radio programmes to be broadcast in 50 community radio stations across the country.
Promoting Digital Literacy among Vulnerable Women in the Gaza Strip, implemented by Community Media Centre-Palestine. Vulnerable women in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, often lack the necessary knowledge and skills to use digital media platforms to advocate for their rights and to highlight their concerns in a safe way. This project will build the capacity of approximately 700 women to understand, access, evaluate, and analyse different types of online information, as well as to communicate on digital media platforms as responsible media consumers and contributors drawing on rights-based frameworks.
Utopias and Dystopias: The peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Digital Age, implemented by Agencia Latinoamericana de Informacion (ALAI- Ecuador). This project seeks to enable civil society organizations across the two regions to draw on the Digital Justice Manifesto endorsed by WACC in order to develop a common agenda for advocacy that can begin to challenge the concentration of digital resources in the hands of a few powerful actors in that part of the world.
Owning our Data to Own Our Rights in India, implemented by IT for Change- India. Drawing on the Digital Justice Manifesto, this project seeks to convene a knowledge exchange process about the economic rights of data, particularly as it affects small economic actors, such as gig economy workers and small businesses. Project activities will involve workers, civil society actors, and policy makers and are expected to translate into meaningful dialogue opportunities that can lead to the promotion of collective data rights in India.
Asserting Peoples’ Rights on Data and Social Justice in the Philippines, implemented by Computer Professionals Union-Philippines. Following the release of the Digital Justice Manifesto in the 2019 Internet Governance Forum, this project will introduce some of its key ideas to the Philippine context in order to contribute to the ongoing national debate about the regulation and democratization of digital platforms. It also seeks to help establish new alliances between and among traditional and new actors in Philippine society in order to promote legislative and policy changes that would help create a more democratic digital environment in the country.
In addition to receiving support from WACC, the above-mentioned organizations will be invited to attend regional or international platforms such as the Internet Governance Forum and in order to share their experiences and knowledge and skills gained
Projects supported under this theme align with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; SDG 16- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; and SDG 17- Partnership for the Goals. Elements related to media literacy align with SDG 4- Quality Education.
WACC is an international organization that promotes communication as a basic human right, essential to people’s dignity and WACC works with all those denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. It advocates full access to information and promotes open and diverse media. WACC strengthens networks of communicators to advance peace, understanding and justice. To learn more about WACC’s commitment to communication rights, please read its No-Nonsense Guide to Communication Rights.
Originally from Colombia, Lorenzo Vargas has worked as a media producer, communications consultant, teacher, researcher and facilitator with organizations in the non-profit and education sector in Toronto, Montreal, and southern Brazil. He holds an Honours BA in International Development from York University, and an MA in Communication Studies from McGill University, where he studied the relationship between media production, active citizenship, and peacebuilding among youth in Latin America, with a special focus on Colombia. He currently sits on the Board of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.