Human Rights and Information Communication Technologies: Trends and Consequences of Use

Human Rights and Information Communication Technologies: Trends and Consequences of Use

John Lannon (University of Limerick, Ireland) and Edward Halpin (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK)
Release Date: July, 2012|Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 324
ISBN13: 9781466619180|ISBN10: 146661918X|EISBN13: 9781466619197|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1918-0


Intergovernmental agencies, governments, and non-governmental organizations are now using Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to collect, organize, and disseminate information on peoples’ rights, the promotion of human rights, and the protection of individuals and communities at risk.

Human Rights and Information Communication Technologies: Trends and Consequences of Use will provide a comprehensive examination of the use and application of information and communication technologies in the world of human rights. This will contribute significantly to understandings of the impact of ICTs on the promotion and protection of human rights in societies around the world. This book will provide a valuable tool and insight for academics from a range of fields, including information management, information systems, communications, information technology, international relations, human rights, politics, law, and sociology. It will also be useful to international non-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and governments for policy and practice.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication rights, privacy and free speech
  • Human rights activism in the information age
  • Human rights and the Internet
  • Human rights organizations and the application/deployment of ICT
  • ICTs and gender-based rights
  • ICTs and human rights education
  • Impact of ICT policies on human rights
  • Information security
  • Information systems deployment in human rights
  • Mobile technologies and their application to human rights

Reviews and Testimonials

This work offers both academic and practitioner perspectives on the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) in human rights work. International contributors are from diverse fields including in communication, journalism, and media and information studies, as well as social work, law, and human rights and social justice advocacy. The first part of the book reviews key trends and issues such as ICT policies favoring human rights and negotiating boundaries between control and dissent in repressive governments. The next section gathers case studies from around the world, shedding light on topics such as digital dictatorship in Brazil and video exchange and Arab human rights. Part 3 presents practitioner perspectives, touching on areas such as crowd sourcing for human rights monitoring, and the work of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. Part 4 considers economic and social rights. 

– Book News Inc. Portland, OR

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Sam Gregory
John Lannon, Edward Halpin
John Lannon, Edward Halpin
Chapter 1
Judith Dueck, Michael Rempel
This chapter examines eleven technology issues faced by human rights organizations. These issues are critical if they are to use technology... Sample PDF
Human Rights and Technology: Lessons from Alice in Wonderland
Chapter 2
Rolf H. Weber
The tremendous developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) over the last 20 years have substantially changed communication... Sample PDF
ICT Policies Favouring Human Rights
Chapter 3
Brian J. Bowe, Robin Blom, Eric Freedman
Increases in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) have given citizens new tools to organize politically. This development has... Sample PDF
Negotiating Boundaries between Control and Dissent: Free Speech, Business, and Repressitarian Governments
Chapter 4
Aziz Douai
YouTube has enabled new forms of political dissent in Arab societies. This chapter examines the development and rise of YouTube in the Arab world.... Sample PDF
“In YouTube We Trust”: Video Exchange and Arab Human Rights
Chapter 5
Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm
The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (LTRC) was established by the Liberian government in 2005 to “promote national peace, security... Sample PDF
Truth-Seeking at a Distance: Engaging Diaspora Populations in Transitional Justice Processes
Chapter 6
José Rodrigues Filho
Since the end of military government in Brazil, civilian governments have sought the accumulation and exercise of power to the detriment of the... Sample PDF
ICT and Human Rights in Brazil: From Military to Digital Dictatorship
Chapter 7
Christopher Wilson, Alexandra Dunn
This chapter proposes an analytic approach for the study of ICTs in contentious politics and human rights advocacy. By applying the analytical... Sample PDF
Contingency and Hybridity in the Study of Digital Advocacy Networks: Implications of the Egyptian Protest Movement
Chapter 8
Jessica Heinzelman, Patrick Meier
Accurate information is a foundational element of human rights work. Collecting and presenting factual evidence of violations is critical to the... Sample PDF
Crowdsourcing for Human Rights Monitoring: Challenges and Opportunities for Information Collection and Verification
Chapter 9
Ann Harrison
The Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) ( analyzes the patterns and magnitude of large-scale human rights... Sample PDF
Counting the Unknown Victims of Political Violence: The Work of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Chapter 10
Tanya Notley, Stephanie Hankey
Digital technologies, such as mobile phones and the internet, provide new opportunities for Human Rights Defenders to mobilise people, coordinate... Sample PDF
Human Rights Defenders and the Right to Digital Privacy and Security
Chapter 11
Minna Strömberg-Jakka
This chapter examines the connection between social assistance and the use of information communication technologies to gain access to social rights... Sample PDF
Social Assistance via the Internet: The Case of Finland in the European Context
Chapter 12
Jenny Martin, Elspeth McKay
The primary aim of this chapter is to explore the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in post-secondary education to provide... Sample PDF
Mental Health, Post-Secondary Education, and Information Communications Technology
Chapter 13
Ana-Cristina Ionescu
In this new age, the Internet, the network of networks connected by a complex array of electronic, wireless, and optical technologies extending from... Sample PDF
ICTs and Gender-Based Rights
Chapter 14
Shane O’Hanlon
Information technology has the potential to transform healthcare and eradicate many of the inequities seen in the area. However, the use of... Sample PDF
Health Information Technology and Human Rights
Edward Halpin, John Lannon
About the Contributors

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

John Lannon holds an MA in Peace and Development Studies from the University of Limerick, Ireland, and has completed a PhD in Information Systems Usage in the Human Rights Movement at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He worked in software systems design, development, and project management for over a decade and a half, and now provides information management and ICT-related expertise to the non-profit sector. He is also a Lecturer and Researcher with the Centre for Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Limerick. John has been involved in human rights activism for over 20 years and is a founding member of Shannonwatch, an Irish-based organization of peace and human rights activists (
Edward F. Halpin (Professor) works for the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is also associated with the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology, leading the Social Informatics theme in their research. For his PhD he studied “The use of ICT and Information for Human and Child Rights” and has a long record of working on human rights information and ICT, including work as an expert for the European Parliament Scientific and Technical Options Assessment Unit (STOA). Edward is currently the Chair of the Geneva-based international NGO Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International (HURIDOCS) who help human rights organisation use information technologies and documentation methods to maximise the impact of their advocacy work. Professor Halpin has published widely, particularly with John Lannon, and co-edited the book “Human Rights and the Internet” with Hick and Hoskins in 2000.