Technology and human rights

The way that people communicate and access information has been transformed over the last half-century. These technological advances have empowered those defending human rights. However, they have also aided their adversaries, and human rights defenders are increasingly vulnerable to online surveillance and hacking, as governments and private actors restrict access to certain information.


“In international law, access to information and free expression have found tremendous accelerators in the internet and other forms of digital communication. At the same time, efforts to control speech and information are also accelerating.”

- Carole Bogart, Human Rights Watch


 Protecting human rights defenders and enabling their work, including through harnessing the benefits of modern technology, are some of Oak’s key priorities. Oak developed a cluster of grants in 2015 to both realise the potential of technology and also to mitigate attendant risks.

Grants covered three main areas:
• digital security;
• developing anti-impunity tools and technologies; and
• technological capacity-building. Read on to find out more!


The additional stories about the above grant areas can be found in our 2015 Annual Report.

Photo 1 - © TacticalTech / Photo 2


© Citizen Lab

Source: Oak Foundation Annual Report


Year of publication: 2015




Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.


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