DHRLAB AND STARTHUB Africa Jubilate 3 Years Of Success In Next Chapter Event.

Digital Human Rights Lab and StartHub Africa held the Next Chapter of DHRLab event with support from GIZ in celebration of the last 3 successful years of accomplishments of their programs and divulge into the future of Human Rights Activists in the digital era post COVID-19. Trending on social media #Innovations4HumanRights, the event attracted partners and representatives from several CSOs and CoPs (Communities of Practice).

In her opening remarks, DHRLab’s representative, Isabel highlighted the amazing outcomes of DHRLab programmes such as the CoPs, Innovation Program and podcast despite the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. She congratulated and further extended appreciation for their support, commitment, hard work and passion towards Human Rights and their protection in this digital age since inception in 2019, attributes which have continued to shape them to date and will continue to birth a sustainable and impactful community in the coming phase of DHRLab.

Mohammed Kimbuggwe, the Technical Advisor at DHRLab emphasized in his presentation on the future outlook of Human Rights in Uganda as digital especially post COVID-19. Despite the presence of online violence and greater risks of widening gaps especially for minority and vulnerable communities, this also presents an opportunity in the increase of demand for digital skills, literacy, and trainings as well as organisational restructuring in alignment with goals in accordance with the digitalization era. Mohammed called for collaborations, communication, research, and advocacy which should be inclusive of marginalized groups so that no one is left behind during this digital revolution.

The 5 CoPs which are the core in network-building of the DHRLab community with over 200 members; Digital Security, Cyber Laws and Regulations, Digital Inclusion, Innovations for Rural Development, and ICT 4 Advocacy were also opportuned to share highlights of their activities. Followed by an exciting showcase of digital solutions by the winning teams of DHRLab’s Innovation Program who aspired to address challenges faced by Human Rights Defenders in Uganda, and thus enable them to execute their work in better, more efficient, and safe ways. These included the KuchuCare App, a creation by Let’s Walk Uganda which has recently been awarded among the 7 recipients of this year’s CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards.

An informative panel discussion kick-started the afternoon of this event under the theme of the day, with a special focus on the current state of human rights Vs digital transformation in the country, challenges and opportunities of Digital Human Rights work, importance of synergies and COPs along with the next step(s) of the DHRLab community. To crown up the auspicious occasion was a digital exhibition and cake cutting by partners and engagement leads of DHRLab community.

At Kuchu Times, we congratulate the DHRLab community on their great work that ensured inclusion in opportunities and safety for all including our LGBTQ in Uganda and look forward to a continuous fruitful partnership in the next chapter!