Paradigm Initiative in partnership with Policy Alert and other local stakeholders, on Tuesday, February 18, trained journalists at a digital rights workshop in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The workshop focuses on understanding and navigating the policy and regulatory landscape related to digital rights and its intersection with other subjects such as security, media, digital identity, business, as well as learning advocacy and engagement strategies for those who work or are interested in promoting and defending human rights online in Africa.
According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights Program Manager, “there is a growing interest in conversation around digital rights across Nigeria. Many citizens are curious about what seems to be an unending desire by the political class to restrict the digital space.
“We have seen and heard about many cases of arrests of journalists and citizens for expressions online in the Southern part of Nigeria and this requires a community response. This is why we have come to build the capacity of local actors in the 11 states of the South-East and South-South Nigeria, to build competency around civil society response to digital rights violations and learn useful advocacy strategies for specific contexts,” Adeboye concluded.
Discussions at the workshop explored topical issues around privacy and surveillance, digital identity, multistakeholder approach to digital policy, data protection, internet shutdowns, content takedowns, freedom of expression online, digital security amongst others.
The two-day workshop comes at a time when the government is rolling out legislation such as the Hate Speech Bill and the Social Media Bill. The workshop is aimed at empowering participants with the understanding of digital policies and how they affect human rights.
Participants from the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria (Abia, Akwa Ibom Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Rivers State) will also learn about various actors with the policy landscape.