DRAPAC23 Participants Solidarity Statement: for Greater Protection of Rights in the Asia-Pacific
Participants of the Digital Rights Asia Pacific Assembly (DRAPAC23) have issued a solidarity statement calling for the greater protection of human rights in the digital age.
The statement, signed by over 100 organizations and individuals, was jointly developed during the DRAPAC23 Assembly held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from May 22 to 26, 2023.
EngageMedia, a nonprofit that promotes digital rights, open and secure technology, and social issue documentaries in the Asia-Pacific, convened the week-long event which brought together over 500 participants from broad sectors of civil society to build knowledge, collaborations, and momentum around digital rights.
The statement highlights the increasing threats to digital rights in the region, including:
A rise in repressive and reactionary governments and policies
The spread of online misinformation and disinformation
Corporatization of resources, including people’s data
Continuing threats to freedom of expression and access to information, which disproportionately affect already vulnerable and marginalized communities
Recognizing the collective effort needed to address these urgent issues, the statement urges all stakeholders, including governments, technology companies, civil society organizations, and individuals, to work together in protecting and promoting digital rights and freedoms for all.
Among other things, the statement calls for the internet to be governed as a public good, for the protection and enjoyment of all human rights online and offline, and for the implementation of rights-based and human-centered policies related to the internet and digital technologies.
“With current and emerging technologies reshaping the digital rights landscape in the region, it’s critical for digital rights advocates and human rights defenders to work together and collectively navigate the shared challenges we face,” said EngageMedia Programme and Advocacy Director Red Tani. “We must explore ways to strengthen regional solidarity and advance our work to build a rights-respecting digital future.”
Read the DRAPAC23 Statement of Solidarity below:
We, the participants of the Digital Rights Asia Pacific Assembly held in Chiang Mai from 22 to 26 May 2023, representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives from 35 countries across the region, have come together to discuss the critical challenges faced by our communities in the context of current and emerging digital technologies and to explore ways to advance our work to build a rights-respecting digital future.
We recognize that the region is at an important crossroads, with the promise of the internet and emerging digital technologies to usher in an inclusive and equitable future on the one hand while millions still remain unconnected; a rise in repressive and reactionary governments and policies; threats to our human rights and fundamental freedoms; silencing of voices through violence and hate; misleading rhetoric and misinformation; corporatization of resources, including our data; a looming climate crisis and the further marginalization of already vulnerable communities including but not limited to gender, sexual and religious minorities, people with disabilities, refugees and indigenous peoples.
As stakeholders in the digital rights movement in the region, we call for the internet to be governed as a public good, where all citizens have the means and the right to access a free and open internet and the unrestricted flow of information.
We stand for the protection and enjoyment of all human rights online and offline, including freedom of expression, privacy, and access to information, particularly for those from marginalized communities.
We believe in the implementation of rights-based and human-centered policies related to the internet and digital technologies that put people before profit and politics, and that are developed through an inclusive, multi-stakeholder process.
We stand in solidarity with each other and those who have been silenced or marginalized, and agree to work in cross-regional unity and collaboration in securing accountability and justice for those harmed.
We celebrate the diversity of voices, perspectives and experiences across the Asia Pacific and champion their right to co-exist free from discrimination, hate and violence.
We urge the broader internet community in the region, including individuals, civil society organizations, independent institutions, businesses and states, to join us in defending our human rights, protecting our environment and working towards a just and equitable society for all.
Active Vista Center Inc
Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
Asia Development Alliance
Association for Progressive Communications
Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication
Body and Data
Break the Fake Movement
Burma VJ Media
Cambodian Center for Independent Media
Cambodian Institute for Democracy
Cambodian Youth Network Association
Center for Science, Technology, and Society, Chulalongkorn University
Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community
Combine Resource Institution
Common Room Networks Foundation
Computer Professionals’ Union
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia
Digital Defenders Partnership
Foundation for Advancing Critical Thinking in South Asia (FACTS)
Foundation for Media Alternatives
Free Expression Myanmar (FEM)
IM Swedish Development Partner
Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc.
International Media Support (IMS)
Knowledge for Development
Law Life Culture
Legal Aid for Human Rights
Mahawthada Digital Solution
Media Matters for Democracy Pakistan
Microgovernance Research Initiative
Myanmar Internet Project
Open Culture Foundation
Point of View
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Public Virtue Research Institute
Purple Code Collective
School of Public Policy Chiang Mai University
Spring University Myanmar
Sunflower Film Organization
Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Tattle Civic Technologies
The Asia Foundation
Timorese Association for Progressive Information and Technology
TRACE Indonesia (Fast Response Team)
Young Experts: Tech for Health
Ardilla (Yaya) Maisara
Charisse Joan Cao
Jonnah Marie Morado
Kristine Camille Sulit
Monira Begum Munni
Muhammad Naziful Haq
Soe Sandar Oo
Thaw Tar Swe
Zayed Ahmed Siddik
Access the Joint Solidarity Statement here