Human Rights & ICTs: Presentation to Amnesty International

I was invited to give a presentation of around 20 – 25 minutes to Amnesty International’s 2017 Chairs Assembly & Directors Forum (CADF) meeting, held for the first time in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Focussed on the work done through Groundviews at the Centre for Policy Alternatives to use information and communications technologies (ICTs), for over ten years, to bear witness to, verify, narrate, showcase and record human rights violations as well as more generally supporting democratic governance.

The presentation is embedded below. It can also be downloaded as an Apple Keynote, Microsoft Powerpoint or high-resolution PDF from here.

The presentation followed a speech by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera. Live tweeted a few responses to his submission, and also touched upon some of what he said during the very short Q&A that followed my presentation.

I did tweet a bit earlier in the day that it was quite incredible to sit in a forum, where all the leading members of Amnesty International from across the world were present in one room, without a single issue around getting into the country. AI also announced the opening of a country office. Both developments would not have happened, or been remotely considered, under the Rajapaksa regime.

We have come far, but the journey ahead is no less arduous or challenging than what we have been through. It is unclear whether the Foreign Minister’s optimism and vision translates into what the President and Prime Minister want, believe and have the political will to see through. One hopes Amnesty International, also using a full spectrum of technology, will hold those in power accountable, complementing what Groundviews has stood for and done since 2006.

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