Advox is delighted to partner with the Small Media Foundation to bring you the UPROAR initiative, a collection of essays highlighting challenges in digital rights in countries undergoing the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process, which is conducted by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. For the Universal Periodic Review the human rights records of UN Member states are reviewed on a four-year cycle. This process is a chance for each state to inform the UN and other observers of human rights in their countries about the actions they have taken to protect the rights of their residents.
At Advox, we affirm that digital rights are human rights. We support the expansion of the human rights review to include the protection of digital rights. The countries from which these essays have come are undergoing their UPR review in a specific cycle; this platform is an opportunity to illuminate the progress and the challenges that they face with the implementation of digital rights. Internet controls, censorship, intimidation of journalists and discrimination of minority groups online are some of the issues that our pieces highlight. Our stories show that while there is much to celebrate, there is still a long way in the protection for digital rights of all people. Our stories also show the creative ways that advocates are harnessing digital technologies to demand respect for their human rights. We are grateful to all the contributors who share these stories with us and we hope that they invite a renewed commitment to protecting the digital rights of people all over the world.
Read the stories
Stories about UPROAR
In Nigeria, the government weaponises the law against online expression
The Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 (NCA) has been employed by the government in justifying various violations of online freedom of expression in Africa's most populous nation.
Despite updates in legislation, organisations in Uganda struggle with data protection and privacy compliance
While Ugandan legislation was recently updated to include more provisions aimed at protecting digital privacy, reality on the ground shows the majority of Ugandans are not guaranteed those rights.
Tunisia: New prosecutions resurrect shadow of dictatorship
The use of military law by Kais Said's government to prosecute journalists and restrict freedom of expression foreshadows a return to the nightmare governments of before the Arab Spring.
In Sudan, the court stands on the side of unrestricted access to the internet
In Sudan a judge ruled to restore the internet service to the Sudanese after it was cut off in the aftermath of the October 25 coup.
Mozambican government reacts to conflict by imposing its own digital narratives
An on-going armed conflict is depriving Mozambicans of their right to access reliable information as the government spares no efforts to impose its own narratives
Namibian activists maximize social media to expose unlawful jurisdiction and homophobic legislature
LGBTQ+ and feminist activists in Namibia use social media as a tool to gain international attention and put pressure on their government to ensure equal rights.
‘A day without internet is a day in the dark’: The Gambia's growing digital divide
In the Gambia, frequent internet outages and overall instability have made everyday life an increasingly frustrating challenge, impeding both national development and individual growth.
The Gambia’s missed opportunity for digital rights reform
Gambians held high hopes for digital rights reforms under President Adama Barrow. But the draft constitution fell short on its promise to adequately protect digital rights.
Post-Magufuli, will Tanzania review its repressive online content regulations?
Tanzania's content regulations are often used to undermine and clamp down on digital rights and freedom of expression. With a newly sworn-in president, will the government review these repressive laws?
Sierra Leone’s new cybercrime bill could turn a phone into a crime scene
Sierra Leone’s cybercrime bill could turn a citizen’s smartphone into a crime scene at a moment’s notice.
In Tajikistan, online critics land behind bars as alleged ‘extremists’
In Tajikistan, several outspoken bloggers and activists have been sent behind bars and online freedom of expression is seriously curtailed.
Sudan's revised cybercrime law falls short on its promise
Political activist Owar Alsadig’s lawsuit sparked controversy over the nature of Sudan’s current information and cybercrime laws, and the potential to abuse these laws to limit freedom of expression.
Turkey reins in social media—one platform at a time
The new social media law sets up a series of restrictions that will have a lasting impact on digital rights and freedom of expression in Turkey.
Kenya must implement data protection law before 2022 presidential election
Kenya must act quickly to enforce its new data protection law. If not prepared, the ghosts of Kenya’s political past may once again come back to haunt its citizens.
The fight against fake news: A restrictive policy for online freedom of expression in Senegal
In Senegal, the government’s attempts to control fake news raises questions about how to fight against it without infringing on rights and freedoms — particularly online freedom of expression.
Lebanon protests: Authorities prey on digital spaces to silence criticism
While social media and WhatsApp have been extensively leveraged by demonstrators to organize, document, and sprawl the protest, Lebanese authorities have resorted to identifying and persecuting dissidents.
In DR Congo, will new legislation protect citizens’ digital rights?
In Democratic Republic of Congo, a citizen movement is underway to reclaim digital rights that have been violated for years under a vague and outdated legislation.
Why Malawi urgently needs a data protection law
In January 2018, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) announced a mandatory national sim card registration exercise tied to the national ID process.
Surveillance in Lebanon: A crisis of privacy
Intrusions on citizens’ privacy in Lebanon are pervasive and often conducted without proper judicial oversight.
Why women’s rights and digital rights go hand-in-hand on Namibian Twitter
In Nambia, a Twitter campaign to legalize abortion drew waves of attacks against feminist activists, but as a result, parliament has agreed to discuss Nambia's outdated abortion laws.