Promoting human rights in the digital era

  • Press release 2022-06-02: “You’ll Find it on the Internet.” How Digitalisation Impacts the Lives of People Whose Voices Often Go Unheard.
  • Press release / 2022-03-02: Digital technologies are part of everyday life, but we don’t know much about how they impact our rights. A Czech-Norwegian project aims to change this.

Modern technologies and digitalisation are increasingly impacting our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this process. It has shown not only their potential, but also their negative impact on human rights, especially among vulnerable groups.

Media play a key role in a democratic society and should respond to the urgent global challenges of the digital age. Media should also be a powerful force in anticipating, analysing and responding to those human rights abuses which result from the use of modern technology. However, due to the absence of adequate training both at the university level and on-the-job professional development, this essential skill is lacking among journalists, with a consequent impact on public awareness and understanding of this problem.

In an interdisciplinary consortium of Czech educational, academic, and nonprofit entities together with a Norwegian partner, we seek to change this by increasing the ability of educational institutions and media to address this burning issue. Initially, we will present the results of our base-line research with journalists and vulnerable groups at our first conference and use them to design and implement a one-semester course for journalism students at the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences.

We will, thus, introduce the first long-term educational module in the Czech Republic focused on eliminating discrimination and human rights abuses, while originating and distributing media content produced by journalists in the field of modern technologies and their use. The course will give birth to a series of online training sessions and guidelines for journalists. Both will be used at universities and within the media in the Czech Republic and in Norway and presented at our second conference. With this project, we aim to increase long-term awareness of the impact of technology on human rights in the journalistic community, educational institutions, and the general public.