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Group takes a ride on info-tech for human rights advocacy

Not to be outdone by other interest groups, some members of human rights organizations in the Philippines have been able to take a ride on the tide of information technology in advancing their advocacy.

Launched in 2011, the human rights website "has become a go-to" site of human rights advocates in the Philippines as well as elsewhere, for updates on most recent social issues in the country.

Egay Cabalitan and Jerbert Briola started the HRonlinePH website using WordPress in March 2011.

Since then, Briola said, the site has become a resource tool of human rights advocates in doing their various campaigns and activities.

For his part, Cabalitan said the website has produced a video featuring testimonies from various advocacy groups – medical, anti-mining, human rights defenders, and international support NGOs – on the usefulness of the website.

HRonlinePH, now composed of group of bloggers nationwide, launched two videos about human rights and internet rights now shared on social media outlets.

Video 1
Video 2

One was launched on December 1, 2014, during the annual Human Rights(HR) Pinduteros’ Choice Awards, which give recognition to exceptional individuals and organizations for their achievements in defending human rights – online or offline.

“Human rights defenders fully realize the potential of video to bring about change, And this video, a groundbreaking information tool for the HRonlinePH, is a supportive infrastructure how we can harness the power of technology and to help realize our shared interests in promoting and defending human rights, offline and online,” Human Rights Online Philippines said.

Jen Schradie of the Institute for Advanced Study, Toulouse School of Economics (France) said, "(I)n the digital era of so-called Facebook revolutions or hashtag activism, many claim that participation in social movements is individualized and personalized, but building and sustaining a political movement, even an online movement, still requires organization."

Featured in one of the videos are human rights defenders from Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA), Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Asia-Pacific (CATW-AP), Medical Action Group (MAG), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ). — LBG, GMA News