Handheld Human Rights & the need for tech in Burma

author: Emily Jacobi
date: 2009-05-26 17:53:53+00:00
slug: handheld-human-rights-the-need-for-tech-in-burma
title: Handheld Human Rights & the need for tech in Burma
wordpress_id: 438

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U Pinya Zawta of the All Burma Monks Alliance demonstrates using a FlipCamera hidden under a monk's robe.

D2’s co-founders Mark and Emily are representing Handheld Human Rights at N2Y4, NetSquared’s annual conference. It’s thrilling to be at a conference focused on supporting projects on the ground.

This past weekend, D2 spent time with exiled monk leaders of Burma’s September 2007 Saffron Revolution. U Pyinya Zawta, U Gawsita and U Agga were all involved in planning the September protests, and forced to flee the country. We just partnered with their organization, The All Burma Monks Alliance on the launch of their new website – check out allburmamonksalliance.org

We also interviewed them on the current needs of Burmese communities, particularly the monks inside the country. U Pyinya Zawta told us:

"In Burma, the military controls all communications technology. But technology is very important to change. The Burmese military is trying to hide human rights abuses inside (the country). To show human rights abuses we need technology. People who are doing bad deeds need to be afraid."

D2 partners with groups like the All Burma Monks Alliance and other grassroots organizations to facilitate communication and collaboration among groups.

Handheld Human Rights uses mobile phones to securely connect human rights workers around the country. Mapping text messages, it helps groups quickly share critical information to coordinate their responses and save lives.

We need your help to make Handheld Human Rights a reality. We’re working with local partners on the ground to build an open source project. We’re seeking to match them up with designers, programmers and others. Whatever your skill set, you can help.

This is a mobile tool to make human rights data accessible and actionable. If you’re attending N2Y4, please vote for us, and put human rights response in the hands of local actors.