[IRP] IRP Famine-Refugee Relief Support

Dixie Hawtin Dixie
Mon Sep 26 16:56:40 EEST 2011

Please find statement and background information copy and pasted below. We would definitely welcome any feedback before our IRP workshop tomorrow! Thanks everybody, Dixie

Internet Governance shapes the world we live in

As stakeholders from all over the world gather in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2011 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ? just down the road a major humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. Failed crops and drought conditions have exacerbated the situation in Somalia where military conflict exists between warring factions. As a result 3.7 million people in Somalia are currently suffering from hunger. In Dabaab (on the Kenyan and Somali border) an estimated 9,000 new famine refugees are arriving to the largest refugee camp in the world. Here they are plagued by malnutrition, violence and despair.

The crisis is not caused by the Internet or Internet governance, neither is Internet governance in itself the solution. However, it is important that every stakeholder involved in Internet governance realizes that the way the Internet is governed, from its infrastructure and protocols to its applications and usages, has a direct and tangible impact on the shape of the world that we live in.

At the World Summit on the Information Society, participants declared a common desire ?to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.? The mounting humanitarian crisis on the nearby Kenyan and Somali border highlights the critical importance of striving for this goal.

The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition is a group of individuals and organisations committed to ensuring that human rights are respected on the Internet, and that the Internet is governed so as to maximise its potential to enable and support human rights. Given the urgency and proximity of this situation this year, we call on all stakeholders at the IGF to:

1) Recognize that internet governance has a direct impact on human rights in the real world. All stakeholders must fulfil their human rights responsibilities in the Internet environment as outlines in the 10 Internet Rights and Principles and the Charter of Human Rights and Principles on the Internet.

2) Show concrete support to this year?s host country by donating to relief efforts. Every little bit can make a difference. If you would like to contribute funds, the IRP have set up a just giving page which will direct money towards...

Please visit the new IRP website to find out more and donate: http://www.irpcharter.org/


                   Background Fact-Sheet

IGF Nairobi 2011: IRP Coalition - Fundraising Initiative to support Somali Refugees and Famine relief in Kenya


1) Raise funds and express support for NGOs and Kenyan government famine relief for refugees on either side of the Kenyan and Somali border as part of the international humanitarian effort.

2) Raise awareness of concrete links between IRP advocacy and on-the-ground needs by showing how refugee crises and famine relief are not only related to specific internet governance issues currently under discussion at the IGF Meeting in Nairobi by highlighting how IG concerns are intrinsically related to human rights and principles for the Internet.

Statement of Purpose:

Unfolding next door to the IGF meetings this year, is a humanitarian crisis where drought, famine, and conflicts in Somalia are adding to an overcrowded refugee population in Dadaab, where people are plagued by malnutrition, violence, and despair.

This year as we gather in Nairobi for the IGF 2011 in Kenya, we would like to encourage all stakeholders to bear in mind the wider context in which this meeting is taking place as well as the specific impacts of the outcome of discussions here and in other forums around Internet governance from a human rights perspective. Along with other organizations and coalitions, the IRP coalition is committed to working towards fulfilling our human rights responsibilities as outlined in the IRP coalition?s 10 Internet Rights and Principles and Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet. The mounting humanitarian crisis on the Kenyan and Somalian border brings home a number of these principles in very concrete terms.

Internet governance encompasses not only technical and legal [Graciela 1] but also social and political issues. From a human rights perspective this means that ICTs can be put to use in specific ways to alleviate immediate as well as long-term forms of suffering and deprivation. This initiative is to raise awareness of these connections within the IGF contest as well as contribute concretely to the ongoing international fund-raising and famine relief effort. In doing so it recognizes that

1)       ICT applications within refugee camps or as part of a larger humanitarian effort still need to be provided and implemented while respecting fundamental human rights as well as those pertaining to access and uses of the Internet. The urgency of a situation such as this underscores how the rights and principles outlined in the Charter are as valid for refugees and those suffering from famine conditions as anyone else.

2)       Decision-making about Internet governance issues this year are also relevant in this context; they impact upon the terms and conditions by which equipment, training and infrastructure are provided ;  access, right to knowledge, freedom of expression, and privacy are all pertinent in this case.

3)       There are not only broader policy connections to be made between good governance of the Internet from a human rights-based perspective but also in terms of local development issues where poverty elimination and ICT4D action plans are being put into action.

a.        MDG goals place ICTS at the center of alleviating abject poverty; of which famine and harvest failures (droughts aside) due to deforestation, poor land and resource distribution, and chronic governmental inefficiencies are key factors in this region.

b.       Force majeur (wars, droughts) notwithstanding, ICT4D and their uses within a sound human-rights perspective require funding and political will. It is unlikely that the voluntary or private sectors can be expected to provide the amounts of funding required. For instance;

i.   There is a significant lack of infrastructure and communication capabilities in refugee camps.  ICTs of any sort are helpful.

ii.  Young people sit idle in refugee camps and spend the little money they have on computer access.  Clearly, they have the time and the desire but not the means to learn how to use ICTs.

iii.If nothing else, ICTs can engage children in activities other than being involved with rebel groups, terrorist organizations, or gangs.

iv.Young refugees are a potential resource in these areas. They are familiar with the problems in the camps and given the right training, tools and encouragement they can be expected to identify various ways in which ICTs could help to solve problems.

v.  ICTs are required in the camps to support identity-based administration, logistics as well as communications; including a program of monitoring to ensure that records are maintained and accessed within a rightsbased approach respecting privacy among other principles.

The UN has called for funds but by mid-August 2011 only about half of the 1.1 billion Euro target had been reached.

This initiative is to show solidarity and to provide concrete assistance by IGF delegates as well as to raise awareness of an area of IG that is often overlooked; and where effective IG is particularly important.

Civil Society stakeholders, and the IRP coalition?s vision  of ensuring that human rights are respected on the Internet, and that the Internet is governed so as to maximize its potential to enable and support  human rights - means that given the urgency and proximity of this situation this year, we would like to encourage all stakeholders at the IGF to bear in mind the wider impact of the IG discussions that are undertaken and to fulfill their human rights responsibilities as outlined in the 10 IRPs and Charter.

This statement and the money being raised are not intended to suggest that the Internet, per se, is somehow a higher priority than food, water, and medical supplies. These are necessarily the first priority in a crisis such as this one. However, the IRP Coalition would like to show concrete support from a humanitarian perspective as IGF delegates enjoy the hospitality of this year?s host country.

Below is; 1) a proposed Action Plan that we hope the IRP Coalition can endorse and take part in, 2) A Fact Sheet that can be added to and updated in the coming week and during the IGF.

Proposed Action Plan

1) At the IGF: Meet and Liaise with APC members in Kenya (via APC); e.g the e Arid Lands Information Network, executive director, James Nguo.[Graciela 2]

2) Statement release as support for fund-raising effort via the IRP coalition; online and on the ground at the IGF Nairobi meetings

3) Facilitate a donation point for individual stakeholders, and organizations to donate money: e.g. create a campaign button placed on the home page of the newly hatched IRP Charter site where people could click through to:


1) Crowd-funding websites:

[Graciela 3] KIVA (http://www.kiva.org/)

PLATONIQ (http://www.platoniq.net/)

2) A local NGO; e.g. Katuni Consult (an organization based in Somalia); the  Arid Lands Information Network

3) Create an account for the IRP DC in Chipin (http://www.chipin.com)

Quick Fact-Sheet

Background: Current situation in Somalia and Kenya

?  Failed crops and drought conditions exacerbate the situation where military conflict currently exists within Somalia between warring factions; 3.7 million people in Somalia are currently suffering from hunger. Since the famine was officially recognized, over 29,000 children have died from hunger In the Ethiopian camps Somali children are suffering from a measles epidemic, Reports (Human Rights Watch et al) have noted that refugees (women in particular) are regularly robbed and/or raped in and around camps [see: International Rescue Committee?s report Violence against Women and Girls fleeing Famine]- refugees on the Kenyan and Somali border consist primarily of women and children who are walking hundreds of kilometers to arrive at border camps. According to UNHCR reports, the numbers of sexual and gender-based violence cases have quadrupled in 2011.

?  Hundreds of thousands of refugees are making their way to the Dabaab complex where they find only malnutrition and official famine conditions. According to the UNHCR, in 2011 the number of refugees has increased dramatically due to the aggravation of draught and of the conflicts in Somalia.

?  In the last three months 150 thousand Somalis arrived at the Dadaab camp in Kenya, totaling a population of 440 thousand refugees in a camp that was originally constructed to receive only 90 thousand people.

?  With many refugee-hosting communities living under worse conditions than refugees in camps, competition for resources between the two groups has at times led to conflict and violence. Given the large and protracted nature of the refugee situation in Kenya, support for host communities is critical if healthy relations between the groups are to be fostered.

?  Recent cases of cholera in and around Dadaab have sparked fears of a widespread outbreak of the deadly disease.


Private Sector

?  Microsoft providing software for missing persons and registration: Applying ICT to Support Refugees? and ?UNHCR-Microsoft Partnership Applying ICT to Support Refugees? discusses how Microsoft, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has developed and implemented a registration database system ?ProGres? that improves ?camp management by accurately determining the size and composition of refugee populations, and helping with assistance needs.? They have also launched awareness and fund raising campaigns about the plight of refugee children, and lastly provided training opportunities through community learning centers (CLCs) called the ?Community Technology Access Program? (CTA). The CTA provides computers and training to help refugees acquire skills ?to facilitate local integration, rebuild their finances and eventually become self-reliant.? http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/partnerships/united-nations-agencies.aspx#UNHCR

?  Refugees United: an Ericsson initiative in Kenya. MTN and Ericsson are partnering with Refugees United to help reconnect refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) with their families in Africa. The firms have launched a free mobile service to facilitate the reconnection of refugees and IDPs separated from their families and friends by conflicts and natural disasters. The initiative enables refugees with even the most basic handsets to use the Internet to register their details, search for loved ones and subsequently reconnect; See: http://www.ericsson.com/news/100923_refugees_united_244218600_c?query=kenya ; http://www.biztechafrica.com/section/innovations/article/mtn-ericsson-help-reconnect-refugees/840/

Social Media-based publicity

- African Artists and musicians on the web: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2011/0815/African-musicians-look-to-launch-new-Band-Aid-to-fight-East-Africa-famine

- Blogs: Jeffrey Swindle ?Experimenting with Youth ICT Projects in Dadaab Refugee Camp? (http://gbiportal.net/2011/08/12/experimenting-with-youth-ict-projects-in-dadaab-refugee-camp/) discusses a Dadaab ICT4D mission team.

- Voices of Africa for Sustainable Development (VOA4SD) here:  http://m.voicesofafrica.info/; has delivered aid, but also ?documented any ICT access, needs, and current projects in the camp? in order to ?create a more comprehensive ICT strategy.? The ten day report is rich with examples of how ICTs including wireless Internet, online social networking, radio station, and digital photography, can help refugees. Report clearly outlines some entertainment, information, communication, health, safety, and education needs that are met, as well as identifies the challenges:

International NGO?s and UN Member States

Where the IRP coalition?s work on the IRP Charter, in partnership with other local humanitarian relief work and Internet Rights are Human Rights campaign of the APC are in the following areas:

?    Human Rights Watch: Report from notes how many Somali refuges are being arrested at the border by Kenyan police, and made to pay for their release, on pain of being sent back

?    Doctors without Borders:

o    UNHCR is presently mobilizing a campaign with MSF to convince parents to vaccine their kids - there is a possibility that a measles epidemic; y is about to happen.

o    Also moving thousands of people to different new camps, away from the Dadaab complex, where most of the refugees arrive and settle. It's likely that families will be set apart and efforts for helping the displaced to reconnect to relatives and friends will be much necessary.

o    For longer term refuges (e.g. in Dadaab) access to the Internet and receiving support for its effective use in the specific situations they're living would make a huge difference in the lives of these people; educational and in terms of family reuniting, chances to move beyond the semi-permanence of their situation (25-30 years in this complex where children are being born and going to school there)

?    WFP - shipping 5000 tons of food supplies to Somalia to help feed 3.7 million people; according to recent reports, a lot of food is not making its way to the Somalian refugees and famine victims; Mogadishu shops selling these supplies]

?    Oxfam: Oxfam report on the food security crisis in the Horn; http://us-cdn.creamermedia.co.za/assets/articles/attachments/34475_briefing-hornofafrica-drought-climatechange-foodsecurity-020811.pdf

?    Care Kenya ? In June 2011, CARE worked with local journalists and women, elder men and young men from pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in North Eastern Kenya, to help them build their resilience to climate change and is using digital storytelling to help them share their stories about what impacts them most and why, and how they are coping. These digital photo stories are being used for community awareness-raising about climate change impacts and for advocacy. They are integral to CARE's process of working with communities in setting priorities, and developing and monitoring adaptation strategies in Kenya. Care Kenya has also set-up a screening tent at reception centers in Ifo and Dagahaley camps in Dadaab to help refugees that are arriving every day, with a special attention to women and children who suffered violence during the journey to the camps. In regards to food and water supply, Care said it was looking at the sustainability of making cash transfers via mobile phones to pay for the water. Contacts: Dadaab, Kenya  -  Alexandra Lopoukhine, Alexandra.Lopoukhine at care.ca, +254 729 939032 (Mobile) ; Nairobi, Kenya  -  Juliett Otieno, jotieno at care.or.ke, +254 721 428978, +254 20 2710069

?    FilmAid International ? Cholera prevention campaign through media. Recent cases of cholera in and around Dadaab have sparked fears of a widespread outbreak of the deadly disease. While a significant outbreak of cholera within the refugee community is a terrifying prospect, fortunately cholera is relatively easy to treat if caught on time. Even more importantly, the spread of cholera can be minimised by simple health and hygine practices.Over the last couple of weeks (Sept, 2011) FilmAid has been screening a film on cholera, in order to raise awareness and educate the Dadaab community on cholera prevention. The film was produced by FilmAid, with refugee filmmakers in Dadaab. It is the first film to follow the organization's recent ?rapid response? refugee filmmaker training, designed to respond to emerging issues relating to the current crisis. The film is currently being screened throughout Dadaab, particularly to new arrivals deemed to be particularly at risk. The screenings are conducted by trained facilitators, who also take Q&A sessions to answer further questions from the community.

[Graciela 1]Reminding that Internet Governance issues are not only technical and legal, but social and political by nature, from a human rights perspective it's critical to reaffirm the fact...
[Graciela 2]Arid Lands is the APC member in Kenya.
[Graciela 3]I haven't received any response from these groups; perhaps we could create a Chipin account for the DC (http://www.chipin.com) and do it directly?
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Rikke Frank Joergensen [rfj at humanrights.dk]
Sent: 26 September 2011 14:13
To: Graciela Selaimen; irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: Re: [IRP] IRP Famine-Refugee Relief Support

Hi all

Good initiative!, I don?t seem to find the doc in non-google format ?


[cid:image001.jpg at 01CC7C5E.D6544A00]



TEL +45 32 69 88 05 | FAX +45 32 88 00


From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Graciela Selaimen
Sent: 26. september 2011 14:27
To: irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: Re: [IRP] IRP Famine-Refugee Relief Support

Hi, Marianne

Thanks for sending the document to the list. I'm looking forward to reading comments, as this is an initiative that can be fed and refined in different manners.

best regards,

Em 9/22/11 9:41 AM, M.I.Franklin escreveu:
Dear All

Over the last weeks a small group of coalition members has been working on a fundraising initiative aiming to raise awareness as well as funds to support famine-relief and humanitarian help for those suffering from famine and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa.

When this was first suggested on the list we had a lively discussion about how, indeed whether such an effort is related to Internet Governance issues or the remit of the IRP Charter and Ten Principles.

To make a stronger case, indeed to be sure there is evidence of how ICTs and IG issues pertain specifically to this sort of humanitarian crisis, we have spent the last few weeks compiling information on who is doing what, current facts and figures about the situation on the ground at the Kenyan-Somali border, and considering how these reflect on  IG and human rights advocacy.

This is what we have so far; a call, a background note and fact-sheet and some proposals for action. This draft statement is available here as an attached document and on  Google docs


We would like to ask coalition members to let us know what they think about
1) the initiative as a coalition-led one
2) Possible ' candidate' organizations or initiatives who we can raise funds for + the best means to raise the money in the quickest and most effective way (see the list
3) Any comments or updated information to develop the fact-sheet.

FYI, if members endorse this initiative, we have a Wiki page and space for a fund-raiser link ready to go up on the coalition webpage.

So, with the IGF around the corner and many people getting ready to head off to Kenya, we are keen to hear your views.


Dr Marianne Franklin
Reader/Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program
Media & Communications
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London SE14 6NW
United Kingdom
Tel (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk<mailto:m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk>


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