Freedom of Expression

Fellowship on Human Rights in the Digital Space TECH4RIGHTS

About the Fellowship

Venue: Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Address: Country of residence of the fellow

Modality: Virtual, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the selected fellows will work from their home countries until further notice.

Number of recipients: 2

Deadline to present applications: February 28, 2021

Start Date:  recipient 1 April- recipient 2 August 2021

Length of the Fellowship: 12 months


Why a digital fellowship?

Internet is a crucial tool to enhance people's quality of life, constituting an indispensable means for the exercise of human rights and participation in democratic debate. However, in recent years there have been a series of challenges related to digital technologies and the enjoyment of rights, related, among others, to the circulation of information of public interest, online harassment of those who exercise these freedoms, as well as the use of surveillance technologies to invade or interfere with the individual privacy space, which is essential for the exercise of these freedoms.


In this context, and in order to address and anticipate threats to an open, free, and plural internet, the IACHR and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression seek to advance the dialogue between the world of digital technologies and the international human rights system.


Program
:

The fellowship is part of a broader project that seeks to contribute to build capacities within the region’s specialized civil society, and in the OAS - IACHR, for greater incidence and intersection with the global technology industry. Thus, we are looking for web specialists who can contribute from a digital perspective to the work and use of the protection mechanisms of the Inter-American Human Rights System.

For a period of 12 months, two fellowship recipients will participate in the daily work of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The fellow will be in charge of the follow up and monitoring of the challenges and possible threats to the full exercise of human rights in the digital environment.

As part of the team of the Office of the Special Rapporteur, the fellows will work directly with the Special Rapporteur in the use of the IACHR'S mechanisms, including the drafting of technical analysis of bills, use of the petition and case system, creation of materials for dissemination of standards, press releases, or preparation of public hearings. Fellows will be involved in the work of the OAS and the IACHR in digital matters, and the universe of relevant actors in the field, through active participation in events, regional discussions, and meetings with other rapporteurs or agencies.


Goals:

  • To strengthen professional capacities at the intersection between human rights and digital technologies.
  • To provide an opportunity for young professionals in the region to acquire experience and skills to apply the protection mechanisms of the Inter-American Human Rights System in the defense of freedom of expression, the right to information, and privacy in digital spaces;
  • To strengthen the monitoring and response capacities of the IACHR and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression regarding the challenges to human rights on the Internet.
  • To contribute to the expertise of the IAHRS in the defense and protection of human rights online.

The IACHR and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression embraces equality, diversity and inclusion. The GS/OAS and the IACHR, in accordance with its rules and regulations, are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, and will take into account a broad geographic representation, as well as gender equity and equality, in the selection of candidates. In this way, we also encourage women, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants and indigenous populations to apply, even if they feel they only meet some of the requirements.


What profiles are we looking for?

Tech Profile

People with experience in the technology sector who are interested in approaching the inter-American human rights system and in particular in the defense of freedom of expression on the internet. By the end of the fellowship, they will learn in practice the procedure of the different mechanisms of the IACHR and the SRFOE and they will have shared their knowledge and skills in technology with the inter-American human rights system.


Requirements

  • Have demonstrated professional experience of more than three years in technology, programming, digital security, or open-source research.
  • Previous basic experience and interest in learning about the international human rights system, curiosity, and commitment to share technical knowledge with people of different professional backgrounds.
  • Experience and / or interest in working with civil society organizations, populations in vulnerable situations, and other potential Internet users.

It will be valued in a special way:

  • Knowledge / experience on human rights and vulnerable populations;
  • Knowledge / experience in the preparation of academic and / or journalistic research or analysis directly related to freedom of expression online;
  • Work with a human rights defense organization;

Rights Profile

People with experience in the defense and promotion of human rights online, and interest in the technology sector. By the end of the fellowship, they will have broadened the conversation circuit and will have a practical dimension on the human rights and technology agenda.


Requirements

  • Have proven professional experience of more than three years in human rights online, preferably in matters related to, but not limited to, the right to freedom of expression.
  • Experience in technology issues, curiosity, and commitment to share legal knowledge with people from other professional backgrounds.
  • Experience and / or interest in working with civil society organizations, vulnerable populations, and other potential Internet users.

It will be valued in a special way:

  • Knowledge / experience on human rights and vulnerable populations;
  • Knowledge / experience in preparing academic and / or journalistic research or analysis directly related to freedom of expression and other human rights online;
  • Work with a human rights defense organization or state entities on matters related to human rights;

Recquired Documents:

  • The following documents are required in order to be considered for the fellowship:

    • CV and cover letter of maximum one page
    • Completed Fellowship Application Form.
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • A two-page brief outlining a succinct analysis of a current problem related to the exercise of human rights on the internet on which you would like to focus your monitoring and analysis during the fellowship.
      • The use and quality of sources and the ability to transmit complex messages directly and easily will be assessed.
      • for the Rights fellowship, the vision of transferring acquired human rights skills to technology environments will be evaluated, and for the Tech fellowship the vision of transferring acquired technology skills to human rights will be evaluated.
      • The brief must include the expected scope at the local level, in order to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the course of the fellowship. Applications that do not contemplate local impact at the end of the fellowship will not be considered.


Benefits:

  • The OAS will provide a remuneration of USD$3,200 per month during the period covered by the fellowship. With this remuneration, the fellow is responsible of acquiring health coverage of their choice for the duration of the fellowship, and must formally accredit the aforementioned acquisition before the IACHR's Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.
  • The IACHR / Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression will award a certificate of participation in the Fellowship Program to the fellows who satisfactorily complete the entire duration of the Fellowship.


Responsibilities of the selected candidates:

  • Candidates –after being selected– must notify the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of their availability to carry out the fellowship during the indicated period, full time, in such a way that the Office of the Special Rapporteur can carry out the necessary official arrangements, and provide access to OAS systems.
  • The fellowship recipients will be responsible for procuring a personal computer and reliable internet access during the time of the fellowship, as it is remote.


Presentation of candidates:

The Fellowship Application Form and the required documents must be sent to the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights / Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression before the deadline of the call for applications (February 28, 2021) by email under the subject "Fellowship TECH4RIGHTS" to the following address:

cidhrele@gmail.com

The IACHR and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression embraces equality, diversity and inclusion. The GS/OAS and the IACHR, in accordance with its rules and regulations, are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, and will take into account a broad geographic representation, as well as gender equity and equality, in the selection of candidates. In this way, we also encourage women, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants and indigenous populations to apply, even if they feel they only meet some of the requirements.

NOTICE: This fellowship is offered thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation