Digital Debate 4: How Safe are Safe Digital Spaces?
A number of CSO have created online spaces in order to provide an environment that encourages people to share experiences, opinions, and views without fear or threat of political, economic or personal harm. Such platforms and apps allow the organizations to reach out and break down barriers, access individuals that might otherwise be out of reach. Hence, safe digital spaces are used to promote rights, in particular that of minority groups, children and youth, or women and girls. They allow for peer networks, trainings, and support. These platforms and apps work in both directions and enable individuals to reach out if facing problems, such as domestic violence and reproductive health issues. They help to overcome loneliness and isolation. In other cases, due to ongoing violence, physicians, mental health professionals, and social workers leave areas of conflict. In such crisis situations, projects via the Internet are used for therapies, such as the psychological online treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Evidence would indicate that new technologies can be used to provide support, including humanitarian aid in the form of e-mental health services, even in areas that are remote, difficult to access, and sometimes unsafe for the service providers. But what about the recipients: How safe are such safe digital spaces for them? How can CSOs assess risks for people and areas outside their reach?
Hosted by Wolfgang Jamann, the Centre’s Executive Director, the 4th Digital Debate discussed the pros and cons, the opportunities and risks of working online. Civil society and medical practitioners from RNW Media, World YWCA and Paradigm Initiative showcased a wide range of their experiences in this regard.
3 June 2021, 16:00 hrs. CEST
Digital Debates: Event Series
Every month, this event series will provide inspiring discussions for the civil society sector based on the constant change that digitalisation brings to our societies. Each debate will be a call to action for CSOs to take a more active role in shaping our digital future.