"Prior to establishing the website, the special circumstances under which we functioned had restricted our activity and limited the access to our work by others in related fields (see http://www.uthr.org/history.htm ). Setting up the website was a liberating experience and proved to be significantly a more popular medium than the print media. Thanks to Marilyn's efforts, we get 150- 250 hits every day when we release new reports and about 100 hits per day otherwise. What I found innovative and more meaningful in Virtual Activism's vision of "closing the digital divide" is that it is managed by people who have experience in activism in the developing countries and know the pitfalls and limitations of the organizations which function in those parts. Hence they have a clear perspective in providing all the support including training to make those local organizations independent and efficient in using the tools for their benefit. It not only provides resources just to host a site but makes available all the tools on the web which are useful for campaign purposes, thus opening up new frontiers to the local organizations."

— K.Sritharan Ph.D. University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna


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Girls in ICT

Organizing an event to celebrate the Girls in ICT Day is every year on 24 April. It is a worthwhile effort. It is our chance to raise awareness about the opportunities of the ICT sector and empower girls and young women with the knowledge that careers in ICT can be for them. The event is supported by ITU.

You can create your own event, tailoring to your local context and means. It can be nation-wide events in schools or ICT companies. It can be a series of regional or local events. You can target smaller groups of girls or you can aim to reach hundreds of girls.

ITU has made it easy to get started. Take a look at the valuable resources on this Portal and feel free to get in touch with us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for additional guidance to celebrate the Girls in ICT Day in 2014.

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E-discussion on MDG

From 03 February - 16 March, 2014 the UN is organizing an e-discussion on the theme of “Addressing ongoing and emerging challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future” also known as AMR2015. You may participate in the ongoing discussions at https://www.unteamworks.org/

The purpose of the e-discussion is to engage experts, practitioners and policy-makers from various regions and stakeholder groups in a global dialogue on specific aspects of the theme of the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) through the mechanism of an electronic discussion. Since 2008, UN DESA has held, in collaboration with UNDP, e-discussions on the respective AMR themes

The e-discussion provides a unique opportunity for the broader development community to formulate critical policy messages and an action agenda for the AMR. Contributions made by e-discussion participants will be channeled into various parts of the AMR, particularly the Report of the Secretary-General on the AMR theme, but also through the regional preparatory meetings and the National Voluntary Presentations.

 

A Revolution Continues

Article published in Civicus:

by Marlyn Tardros, PhD Executive Director of Virtual Activism

The world watched the January 25th revolution which ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak. Now the world is watching again, this time with less optimism. But this is the story of a people who refuse anything less than freedom. Egyptians of all walks of life are not sleeping in tonight. Everyone throughout Egypt is on the streets determined to continue their revolution which had been interrupted.

When Egyptians elected the Islamist President Morsi, they were between a rock and a hard place: the first was a Mubarak-era nominee who many believed would be the end of the revolution, while the second was the Islamist Morsi who made promises of bringing the freedom they so longed for to life. The expression 'squeezed a lemon on themselves' referred to those who elected him in spite of knowing he would not be a good choice.

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Civil Society Statement to the Human Rights Council on the impact of State Surveillance on Human Rights addressing the PRISM/NSA case

prism/nsaThe following statement has now been endorsed on behalf of "CSISAC - The Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council To The OECD" regarding PRISM/NSA case:

We express strong concern over recent revelations of surveillance of internet and telephone communications of US and non-US nationals by the government of the United States of America and the fact that US authorities makes the results of that surveillance available to other governments such as the United Kingdom. Of equal concern is the indication of apparent complicity of some US-based Internet companies with global reach.1 These revelations suggest a blatant and systematic disregard for human rights as articulated in Articles 17 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as Articles 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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