Last month, DEF conducted a one-day training workshop for the use of ICTs, social media and secure online communications for grassroots-level human rights organisation in collaboration with Amnesty International India in Raigarh, Chattisgarh. Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) were trained in tools and tactics to use traditional and digital media for the purpose of activism. They were also provided hands-on training to protect themselves online. This training was attended by 40 HRDs, most of them adivasis who are fighting for the rights of the coal miners, who had little or no knowledge of using smartphones, social media or being online.
The first session of the day was on the ‘Use of Emerging ICTs & Social Media for Human Rights Monitoring, Campaigning and Advocacy’. The idea behind this session was to make the HRDs get a comprehensive overview of digital technologies that can be used by them.
The next session aimed at educating the participants in digital security. As most of the participants were not aware of the basics of privacy and security settings on various social media platforms or search engines, they were taught from the scratch. They were also made aware about the importance of connecting to websites over secured channels (HTTPS); and introduced to Signal — a smartphone-based secure messaging application.
Further, the participants were sensitised towards the importance of using anti-virus software to increase their digital security. Hands-on training was given to them to generate secure passphrases instead of passwords.
At the end of the workshop, participants left with the understanding and need to integrate Facebook and Twitter for all external communication to maximise reach and impact; however with better security settings. The participants also left with better knowledge on strategising effective social media presence. Overall, the trainings helped build confidence among the participants to efficiently manage their online channels, curate and publish quality content to increase their reach and create impactful and effective content.