Description of the Project

Internet users particularly youths, activists, and active citizens desire safe online spaces and platforms where they can interact, organize, mobilize, and advance their social justice pursuits safely and securely. As exemplified by the now-rested ‘Social Media’ Bill, Nigeria has tried in the past to legislate laws to restrict the use of social media. The stiff opposition and campaigns blocked the passage of this bill into law. Unleashing restrictive laws like the Social Media Bill, the clampdown on free online expression like the Twitter Ban, and the high-handed governmental response to the ENDSARS—including arrests, detentions, passport seizures, frozen bank accounts etc—are all examples of digital rights violations that warrant legal remedies. Some of these incidents were untracked for lack of a unified safe platform to engage and report such attacks to trigger action and support. It is in this context that the e-RIGHTS project will provide a safe online platform for citizens to report and monitor digital rights breaches such as data leaks, cyber threats, internet shutdowns, DDoS attacks, restrictive laws, arbitrary online surveillance etc. Victims of digital rights violations will also have access to legal representation and receive other necessary support to ensure the protection of the freedom of expression and assembly online.

The Objective of the Call for Tender

The Closing Civic Space Database has been tracking and documenting civic space violations across Nigeria since 2016 and West Africa since 2020. As part of the e-Rights project, the database is set to undergo modifications to achieve specific key objectives:

1. Reporting human rights violations: The modified database will function as a platform for reporting human rights violations in the digital sphere. It will provide a secure and accessible space for individuals and organizations to report incidents of digital rights breaches, ensuring that such violations are appropriately documented and addressed.

2. Networking platform for human rights defenders: The modified database will serve as a networking hub for human rights defenders. It will facilitate connections between various actors and stakeholders involved in defending and promoting digital rights in the country. This networking feature will encourage collaboration, information sharing, and joint efforts to strengthen advocacy and protection measures.

3. Promoting exchanges and coordination: By enabling exchanges and communication between different actors, the platform aims to enhance coordination among human rights defenders. It will foster better understanding and alignment of their actions, allowing for more effective joint initiatives and responses to emerging challenges.

4. Empowering activists: The database will act as a powerful tool to inform and empower activists. It will provide them with essential information on how to defend their rights and play an active role in society. Through the database, activists can access resources, guidelines, and support to take necessary actions in response to human rights violations.

5. Secure exchange platform: The database will prioritize security and privacy, ensuring that information shared and stored within the platform remains protected from unauthorized access. This focus on security is crucial to fostering trust among users and encouraging the
reporting of sensitive incidents.

6. Strengthening trust, accountability, and transparency: The database will contribute to fostering trust, accountability, and transparency in the public sector. By providing a platform to denounce abuses, it will encourage open and honest reporting, ultimately leading to increased accountability for those responsible for violating human rights.

In summary, the modifications to the Closing Civic Space Database under the e-Rights project are designed to create a comprehensive and secure platform that empowers human rights defenders, facilitates collaboration, and strengthens the protection of human rights in the digital space in Nigeria.