Three-Day Training on Human Rights in Digital Space in Bosnia

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BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, in collaboration with local and foreign experts, held a three-day training in Bjelasnica on human rights and security in the digital space, online violence, content regulation and reporting on those topics. Over 20 journalists and representatives of nongovernmental organisations attended.

Photo: BIRN

The training was held from September 29 to October 1, 2023. Over the three days, the participants became familiar with the operations of the Internet and its networks and learned from experts about the violations of rights in digital space and questionable policies.

Participants spoke with attorney Aleksandar Jokic about the legal framework for freedom of speech and legal reviews of digital surveillance.

Hvale vale, the Association for Progressive Communications, spoke about gender rights and sexuality in digital space, while the prosecutor of the Bosnian Federation entity’s Herzegovina-Neretva canton, Kemal Kasumovic, shared practical examples that can be used by citizens, journalists and activists.

The training focused on understanding human rights in the digital sphere, such as privacy, safety, violence against women and marginalized groups, content regulation, malign foreign influence through propaganda and manipulation, as well as other relevant topics.

The participants were presented with the Second Report on Cyber-Security Threats in BiH, covering the period of the first eight months of 2023, which showed that the country’s Cyber Security Excellence Centre recorded 15.4 million attacks in Bosnia over that timeframe.

Most of the attacks were directed against private telephone networks, which may incur high costs for private companies and slow down the work of state institutions. Institutional response to those attacks was minimal, the report said.

During a training on problems faced while doing investigations and ways for overcoming them, as well as on how to ultimately publish a multimedia story, journalists of BIRN BiH were among the speakers, sharing with the participants information on the use of open-source tools for searching social networks and methods for verifying and fact-checking of stories. The participants were also presented with ways to create multimedia content.

At the end of the training, the participants presented their ideas for stories and other content, which will be implemented with BIRN’s help, with mentor and financial support.

All the training participants were enabled to attend or follow the Internet Governance Forum, which was held in Bosnia following a several-year break.

Forum participants adopted numerous conclusions on internet governance and human rights, cyber-security and ways to counter genocide denial, glorification of war crimes and hate on the Internet. These will be presented at the Global Forum of Japan.