Apps for human rights

How digital tools are being used for global change
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Increasingly industry experts are turning to digital tools to gain an edge on understanding and sharing information surrounding pressing global issues.

The right tools can provide easy access to valuable information simplifying processes otherwise deemed unmanageable.

Today, efficient management of multi-channel communication, and transferal of fundamental knowledge, is a key requirement of many government organizations, institutions and NGOs. Administrations are working with media solutions experts to create digital tools for hot topics such as climate change, human rights, and surveillance technology. These tools function as digital communication platforms enabling users to share, discuss and most importantly take action toward such complex issues.

Interactive maps for emissions trading schemes

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Global emission trading schemes @Lucid Berlin

Global warming and the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our planet can no longer be ignored. The International Carbon Action Partnership or ICAP, an organization aiming to support the development of successful Emissions Trading Schemes worldwide, recently recognized the importance of implementing digital tools into their daily practice.

The interactive ICAP ETS map, enables users to easily access the jurisdiction of their interest. With one simple click, users are capable of visualizing the status of the ETS individually or worldwide, comparing the design of up to three ETS, and downloading ETS facts sheets and maps. With the implementation of such a tool, previously inaccessible data and information is not only made accessible, but manageable and clear.

Apps for human rights

At the moment, the number of apps dedicated to human rights may somewhat pale in comparison to those in the social or gaming sphere. Putting a digital spotlight on case sensitive material is not always an easy task. Yet rights organizations such as Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, and PeaceWomen, part of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, are quickly beginning to see the benefit of mobile apps.

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Human rights apps @Lucid Berlin

These apps provide access to previously inaccessible documents, information, and evaluative material, and strengthen audience reach and participation. They prove particularly useful among experts and decisions makers as quick and easy reference tools in times of negotiation.

Digital solutions against surveillance technology

In today’s age of heightened privacy requirements and data protection, the fight against the use of surveillance technology is pivotal. Unfortunately, it has been recognized spyware technology manufactured in Europe is allowing governments around the world to closely monitor everyone from journalists to human rights activists. In association with the Greens in the European Parliament, the No Spyware for Dictators interactive tool is used for highlighting European territories and their corrupt import/exporting missions involving surveillance technologies.

With the help of a colored key, users are directed to the area of Europe they are most interested. Users can simply navigate through the areas revealing information at random, or use the colored key to remove countries of less relevance to their search. It is the hope of the Greens Initiative that such a tool will aid in public knowledge education of surveillance technology, leading users to sign a petition urging the European Commission to strictly govern global trade in European telecommunications and Internet surveillance technology.

As our mobile devices and computers fill to the brim with networking platforms and social gaming apps, it is easy to look past the fact technology provides ample opportunity to learn and communicate so much more. With detrimental global issues inherently becoming reality, perhaps it is time to shift focus from our primary uses of digital resources, to ones with a little more impact.

 

Feature image: Polluting factory at dawn. also see video 3152725 via Shutterstock / copyright: lexaarts

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