Digital Rights for All
The Digital Freedom Fund has launched an initiative to support the work of racial, social and economic justice organisations in the digital context. This initiative has emerged from conversations held as part of the decolonising process begun in 2020. This work is in partnership with European Digital Rights (EDRi) who are leading on advocacy, policy and coalition building.
The negative impacts of technology disproportionately affect marginalised groups in Europe. The use of biometric technologies in policing, the digitisation of our contacts with public administrations and of tools used to search for housing or employment, the booming gig economy and the increasing use of technological tools in our work environment are part of our daily lives.
In many cases, these new technologies reinforce existing discrimination and exclusion, including towards LGBTQI+, racialised, migrant, disabled and/or poor communities. Unless these issues are tackled head on, existing structural oppressions risk being further exacerbated and institutionalised through the widespread use of these technologies.
In order to address the root causes of these issues and achieve long-lasting change, the agenda for tackling them must be set by the groups most affected by them. As it stands, however, the digital rights field does not fully represent the lived experiences of people affected by structural forms of oppression. Meanwhile, while many racial, social and economic justice organisations have begun to address digital issues, some require additional support and expertise to expand their work into the digital context.
To help bridge this gap, DFF will lead a new initiative to support the development of a digital rights agenda led by racial, social and economic justice organisations. It aims to promote meaningful, racial, social and economic justice initiatives to challenge discriminatory design, development, and use of technologies, through policy, advocacy, and strategic litigation efforts.
What steps are we taking?
The project will begin by consulting with racial, social and economic justice organisations to identify their current priorities and understand what support they might want in order to expand their work into the digital space.
Drawing on this consultation, a series of thematic workshops will explore the digital context of the existing priorities identified and support organisations in the development of an advocacy, policy and/or litigation agenda in those areas.
This will be followed by a round of peer-learning workshops where digital rights organisations and racial, social and economic justice groups will exchange knowledge and expertise and explore avenues for equitable collaboration.
How can I contribute and get involved?
This project will be driven by the needs and priorities of activists and organisations working towards racial, economic and social justice. As such, we particularly invite suggestions and ideas from those working on these topics. If you’d be interested in contributing or engaging with the project, or would simply like to know more, please let us know – we’d be delighted to speak at a time that suits you.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This lexicon was first drafted as material for the first Digital Rights for All workshop called Talking Digital. This lexicon aims to be one document where definitions of often used tech vocabulary can easily be found and highlighted through their social justice lens. Therefore, the lexicon offers multiple interpretations for these definitions. It is meant to propose different approaches to the notions and invite you (the reader) to use the one best suited to your unique context.
You can download the Talking Digital Lexicon here.
Graphic Design by Claire Zaniolo and Estelle Pom
Digital Rights for All programme
Graphic Design by Claire Zaniolo
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It is exciting, and it is just a beginning: on the 6 October 2021, the very first workshop of the Digital Rights for All programme
This post was co-authored by Laurence Meyer and Sarah Chander. During the DFF strategy meeting 2021, participants organised two sessions on “decolonising digital rights.” A