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Tag: human rights violations

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Articles & StatementsBlog

Is it possible to fight for human rights on social media?

BY ELIF KANLIOGLU 

Social media has become one of the most important alternative news sources today. The Internet is also used to publicise and prevent human rights violations.

However, the impact of social media in winning such struggles is still a matter of debate. While some argue that social media posts contribute to the spread of rights violations, others believe that they have a deterrent effect on society and governments.

Those who advocate both views present strong arguments in their own way. In this article, I will leave the arguments aside and focus on statistics and share concrete data.

According to Statista, more than 3.6 billion people used social media in 2020. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to about 4.4 billion.

These figures make social media one of the most popular digital activities in the world.

Internet users spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social media.

But what does this data mean for human rights?

It means that when it comes to human rights, social media is a unique tool for raising awareness and preventing human rights violations.

Why is it so unique? Because social media expands people’s access to information as much as possible. What do I mean by that?

For example, in countries ruled by dictators, printed and broadcast media can be used as weapons of the regime. It can be used to spread disinformation, interfere in elections, and encourage and incite violence.

We have all seen one or more examples of this. But social media is not an organ that governments can control through pressure.

Through social media, people can communicate their thoughts and opinions to large masses. It is not very difficult to overcome the control mechanisms imposed on the printed and broadcast media through social media.

The oppressed masses can make their voices heard by more people on social media. Social media activism, also known as “hashtag activism”, has led to significant results in recent years.

Social media can therefore raise awareness about human rights issues, expose violations, and encourage people to take action.

One of the most effective examples of this is the ‘BlackLivesMatter’ movement.

This movement reached people all over the world through social media, organised them, brought them together, and enabled them to share critical information affecting their lives instantly. Thus, they achieved success.

They succeeded in publicising the fact that systematic racism is still a major problem in developed countries and all over the world and that no one should remain silent about it. They prevented the acquittal of some state officials charged with this offence.

When used correctly and effectively, social media can become a unique tool for the defence of human rights.

Those who do not want to be bystanders to atrocities and injustices have learned how to raise their voices, that they have rights, and how to protect them through “Hashtag Activism,” and they have paved the way for effective victim assistance.

We must use social media to be the voice of millions of people who have been arbitrarily killed, tortured, subjected to cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, forced or slave labor, deprived of their liberty through unlawful arrest or detention, and targeted by discrimination and racial or religious hatred. We need to make these grievances known to as many people as we can all over the world. The most effective and fastest way to do this is through social media activism.

Let’s say “Stop” to rights violations with the hashtag #SolidarityForAll!

 

EventsHuman Rights Defenders

We reminded ECHR to fulfil their duty

24 JUNE 2022/STRASBOURG, FRANCE

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COMMITTEE

 

Strasbourg protest was a joint protest among 24 organisations in Europe. The main goal of this protest was to let the European Court of Human Rights know that we are not holding back and not accepting them to blind their eyes to human rights abuses in Turkey.

Since 2016 European Court of Human Rights has barely decided cases on Turkey’s significant human rights violations. All the organisations there prepared a joint letter to the ECHR, and when the protest crowd reached the front ECHR, we wanted to give the joint letter to them and continue protesting till we went to the European council and council of Europe. A significant number of people, more than ten thousand, were there. They were all shouting and asking for justice.

The protest continued with a rally, where people who managed to escape from Turkey, family members of enforcedly disappeared people in Turkey, family members who died on the way from running from Turkey, and people who experienced prison and whose loved ones are in prison unjustly and more. They have asked to end this .

The mission of ECHR is to ‘raise the standards of protection of human rights and extending human rights jurisprudence throughout the community of the Convention States’. However, it has been evident since 2016 that Turkey has breached significant obligations under international law, including human rights. ECHR has stopped considering the cases, which was the point everyone raised at the protest.

The protest raised an issue and showed the ECHR, Council of Europe, and European Council that people are in tremendous suffering and justice needs to be addressed immediately.