Paradigm Initiative has disclosed plans to launch a public complain platform for cases of violation of human rights on the internet across Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Paradigm Initiative executive director Gbenga Sesan said cases of human rights violation on the internet were rising at an alarming rate and need to be addressed.
“These things are not just in Nigeria, but across Africa. And what we are saying is that if we are advocating protection of human rights offline according to the law, the same should be replicated online,” Sesan said.
He explained that the platform, which is expected to be ready before December 2020, has features with which citizens can report the cases of violation of their rights online whether by government agencies or individuals.
Sesan said the platform will not only focus on the protection of human rights of freedom of expression and association but will also advocate that citizens are responsible in their conduct on the internet.
“The basic feature is that you will be able to report either via web or via mobile or via text messages eventually, you will be able to report even on a mobile app if there has been a digital rights violation from somebody who has been invited or arrested by a security agency because of something they wrote online,” Sesan said.
“Also, someone whose data has been compromised by an agency of government to someone who is being questioned for expressing their views online, freedom of association freedom of expression online you can report that that is one feature.”
He said complaints will also be able to track the progress of their reports days after submission from a database to the point of prosecution in court if required.
“So you will see a case that judgment has been delivered in favour of a person you will be able to track it and I think one of the most significant things is that at the end of every period serving in a month, at the end of the year you can see how many cases have been reported.”
Sesan disclosed that Paradigm Initiative, with support of other partners, is working with a network of lawyers to provide legal help for persons whose rights have been violated.
He said there will be a publication of the number of reports filed on the platform for a period of time to help members of public have access to which government agencies and private institutions were found culpable of violating human rights on the internet.
“If there is something that we are not doing right now but will naturally happen on the platform is you will see who the real bad people are if a case is reported and almost eight out of ten cases are reported that a violation has been done by a particular agency then you know something is wrong somewhere and needs to be corrected,” Sesan said.