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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Take a Stand with Manushya to Protect Digital Rights from Dictatorship!

The European Union and ASEAN Civil Society Forum Give Recommendations to the 5th EU-ASEAN Policy Dialogue on Human Rights

Almost two months have now passed since we attended the 3rd EU-ASEAN Civil Society Forum on Human Rights! This bi-annual event is all about nurturing and connecting civil society actors while fostering a cross-continental human rights dialogue with perspectives from across the EU and ASEAN, co-chaired by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from both regions.

What Happened during the forum in Belgium?

Under the overarching theme of “Advancing Human Rights: Creating an Enabling Environment for CSOs at the Regional Level”, Manushya, alongside 38 CSOs, participated in the Forum held in Brussels, Belgium, from October 1 to October 3, 2023. The forum served as a platform to discuss and highlight the challenges faced by CSOs in both the EU and ASEAN regions. 

Our conclusion: We are fighting against oppressive laws and grappling with government-imposed digital surveillance, ultimately leading to the decline of democracy.

Take a closer look at our recommendations:

🌐 Out of the 3 thematic areas, Manushya actively engaged with the second: “Human Rights and the Digital Age”. We're not only deeply concerned about the misuse of technological advancements by both state and non-state big tech players, we want them to take immediate action!

Manushya, along with other EU-ASEAN CSOs, calls upon the EU, ASEAN, and their member states to take action by:

  • Establishing regulatory frameworks that are  in line with international human rights principles and standards.

  • Regularly reviewing and updating key documents related to digital rights.

  • Creating clear legislative frameworks, guidelines, and regulations for surveillance practices following international laws and standards.

  • Strengthening regulatory frameworks for data collection.

  • Promote the creation of referral mechanisms to address cases that are transboundary in character to prevent and address online gender-based violence

  • Enhancing digital literacy, including digital safety, privacy, and media literacy.

  • Promoting transboundary referral mechanisms to combat and address online gender-based violence.

  • Monitoring censorship and surveillance technologies 

  • Encouraging big tech companies to prioritize human rights and ethics over profit.

  • Monitoring and assessing the influence of AI and big data on the safety of HRDs, journalists, and CSOs.

  • Introducing comprehensive whistleblower protection laws.

  • Providing adaptive assistive technology for persons with disabilities and ensuring web content compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

  • Equipping CSOs to map legal and policy processes, and monitor legal frameworks affecting digital rights.

  • Repealing laws that undermine encryption and avoid weakening encryption through backdoor initiatives.

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings

Aligning with the spirit of the ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship, Manushya Foundation believes that civil society actors’ meaningful participation is non-negotiable! 


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