BIRN convened Southeast Europe SEE Digital Rights Network members from North Macedonia in Skopje for their first national meeting on April 19, bringing together representatives from various organisations committed to advancing digital rights.
At the meeting, delegates gave presentations about their organisations’ work in the digital rights sphere and explored potential collaborative efforts to boost the efficiency of their initiatives.
The organisations represented at the meeting were IMPETUS, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, the Metamorphosis Foundation, the Centre for Media Development, and the Internet Governance Forum North Macedonia, IGF MKD.
Participants discussed their organisations’ current projects, plans and ideas for digital rights-related work.
IMPETUS is concentrating on digital rights and security for NGOs, generating a risk assessment and creating a policy brief addressing the cyber challenges that NGOs face and building capacity for these organisations.
A representative of IGF MKD said their organisation is currently facilitating dialogue on internet governance issues among in stakeholders in North Macedonia and organising an annual forum to connect various parties involved in digitalisation discussions.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights is prioritising hate speech, digital rights and cyberbullying research, with a keen interest in engaging with young people and advocating for legal amendments in the digital domain. The Helsinki Committee also expressed interest in joining the SEE Digital Rights Network and planning for a first regional meeting.
A delegate from the Metamorphosis Foundation said their organisation is working on media for democracy, social accountability, education for innovation and human rights online, focusing on e-government, privacy by design and fact-checking.
The Media Development Centre’s representative said the organisation is focusing on freedom of information and media system reform in the country, and analysing the influence of new technology in the media sector and journalism.
During a brainstorming session, attendees agreed that it is necessary to regularly share information among network members and proposed scheduling routine online meetings to keep up to date with each other’s activities, among other communication-related proposals. They also debated the potential evaluation of the network’s impact on organisations and information-sharing for joint applications and cross-cutting national and local targets.
The meeting concluded that as the SEE Digital Rights Network continues to broaden its scope and cultivate cooperation among its members, the influence of its work on digital rights in the region is expected to increase, fostering a more secure and inclusive digital environment for all.