Benetech Human Rights Program and Access Examine Digital Security for LGBTI Activists in the African Region

By Benetech, posted on

The African region has seen rising levels of homophobia over the last several months. Amidst the changing climate of restrictive, “anti-gay” laws that have swept the region, local LGBTI activists are facing new types of risks and threats. At the same time, digital security literacy among LGBTI activists in the region remains quite low.


That’s why a joint team from our Human Rights Program and from Access organized a workshop that focused on improving digital security for LGBTI activists and that was held at last month’s conference of the Pan Africa chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association in Kenya. Access and Benetech also jointly hosted a Digital Security Health Clinic to address questions and problems raised by conference attendees.

In a joint blog post published on the Access blog, Access’ Michael Carbone and Benetech’s Collin Sullivan and Annie Wilkinson describe how the workshop and Clinic underscore the urgent need for this type of service, particularly “because there is no blanket protocol for digital security for human rights defenders.”

The team addressed a wide spectrum of issues, including encryption, private internet browsing, methods of secure online organizing, and digital vulnerabilities at large.

You can read the complete blog post on Access’ website and download Access’ workshop slides.

Benetech would like to thank the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor for its support that made the Human Rights Program’s trip and clinic possible.