International human rights day - all human, all equal
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
Today is Human Rights day and with the slogan “all human, all equal” the theme for this year is equality — reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.
On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a milestone document to proclaim the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being. This year's theme relates to Article 1 of the UDHR “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
This day is about addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in societies. We have a vision of an Internet for all and want to support those working to empower communities through digital technologies to see digital equity.
So what's happening in the digital space that advances human rights and addresses inequalities?
Launch of Humanity Matters New Zealand, Tangata Mea Aotearoa
In recognition of this day, former CEO of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and teacher, Chris Harris has launched this organisation for social change. The aim is to provide comprehensive, in-depth New Zealand curriculum-aligned lessons, activities, and resources for teachers on human rights.
This is a specialist human rights consultancy with a primary focus on human rights in the areas of race/ethnicity and gender and specialisations in anti-Semitism and genocide. Humanity Matters NZ will also provide strategic consulting services to NGOs, corporates, and government agencies, and take an advocacy role in the media and political forums.
Humanity Matters NZ has received grant funding for research on identifying the impact of online hate speech in Aotearoa on the local Jewish community. Seeking to understand the issues underpinning online antisemitism in an Aotearoa context, the project will go towards producing educational strategies designed to combat online abuse. Data from this research will be a critical input for developing a set of tools that could potentially support other minority communities in pursuing similar strategies.
If you want to know more about Humanity Matters New Zealand, this research or to support their work, please contact Chris Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are involved with supporting vulnerable communities impacted by online hate, get in touch with email@example.com.
Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa - new website is live!
Barriers to digital inclusion were highlighted and inequalities exacerbated during Aotearoa’s 2020 COVID lockdown. People and organisations from across the digital inclusion community consulted on, contributed to, and signed the InternetNZ-led plan for digital inclusion, The five point plan for digital inclusion: COVID-19 and beyond. Out of this group, Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa (DECA) was formed.
The digital inclusion community is doing incredible work building bridges across the digital divide in Aotearoa. Digital equity work is happening in our schools, marae, libraries, mobile education buses, community centres and increasingly, in central and local government.
With the new website live, this is a great place to go find out more about DECA, sign up to receive the newsletter, and become a Member or Friend of DECA.
FigureNZ working to improve Māori and Pasifika wellbeing through better, data-informed decisions
In line with reducing inequalities and advancing human rights, we see data as a vital tool to help people understand, measure and assess issues and impact. Data is taonga, it empowers us, and accessing it is fundamental to good decision making.
FigureNZ is one of our partners and is a charity dedicated to getting the people of Aotearoa using data to thrive. They have created Pātaka Raraunga and the Pacific Data Fale o Aotearoa. These websites are a gift, to empower communities with valuable tools, reports, and insight.
Pātaka Raraunga, launched in 2020, is a free Māori data website that brings together reputable data for and about Māori, including reports and helpful data sites like Te Mana Raraunga — Māori Data Sovereignty. After the launch, FigureNZ heard requests from the Pacific community for a similar site and with help from Statistics NZ and insight from Pacific leaders in government, data, academia, business, and communities The Pacific Data Fale o Aotearoa was launched earlier this month! It empowers people to find useful data that can help them fund projects, grow business, advocate and solve issues concerning Pacific people. Listening to feedback, FigureNZ even included a new Pacific jobs tool.
To work towards a better future for Māori and Pacific people in Aotearoa, we need to understand how and why the world is changing. Data is a vital tool and FigureNZ is working to help people find and use reputable information on the things they care about.