FreedomLab is a virtual database for human rights defenders, created by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Through FreedomLab, human rights defenders can increase their capacity to monitor and report, seek redress, and advocate for the promotion of human rights. FreedomLab is available in English and Russian.
The content on this platform is categorized into three sections: the Training Center, the Tool Library, and Starlight Stadium. The Training Center contains online courses and educational material created by experts that relate to different facets of the work that human rights defenders undertake. The Tool Library is an online repository of different softwares, apps, and resources that can benefit your work – give it a browse to see if anything is of interest! Finally, Starlight Stadium is an online game that teaches players the steps of the human rights monitoring cycle through an interactive, fictional case study.
The Human Rights Monitoring training is designed to teach you the basics of how to uncover human rights violations, advocate for justice and make a positive impact in your environment in a structured, accurate and reliable manner. Based off ODIHR’s human rights monitoring curriculum, through this e-course you will learn about the human rights legal framework, the international bodies that monitor human rights and will discover how to conduct a proper human rights investigation.
Starlight Stadium is a game designed to teach human rights defenders (HRDs) about the human rights monitoring methodology. Through undertaking a gamified human rights investigation, players can learn what practically goes into protecting and promoting human rights. Based on ODIHR’s Human Rights Monitoring training curriculum, each of the four episodes of Starlight Stadium are linked to specific learning objectives that will reinforce your understanding of the human rights monitoring cycle. Episode 1 teaches the initial assessment of the human rights problem, Episode 2 teaches information gathering, Episode 3 teaches verification, analysis and report writing, and Episode 4 teaches advocacy. The lessons learned through these episodes can be used throughout your work as human rights monitors.
One of the core activities for human rights monitors is interviewing people who have witnessed or survived atrocities. Interviews with witnesses and survivors can be particularly challenging because they may be traumatized by what they have seen and experienced. Likewise, interviewers may become vicariously traumatized by hearing about those experiences and being exposed to the suffering of others. This e-course will teach you these challenges and present relevant knowledge, skills, and strategies that can help you successfully conduct an interview with a witness, gather the information that you need, and protect your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the person you are interviewing.
As working within human rights can be multi-faceted, FreedomLab has compiled a database of relevant online tools and resources for human rights defenders. The repository contains many useful resources, with tools ranging from digital security, to project management, to advocacy.
The Safety and Security in Human Rights Work training will equip you with the knowledge and skills to protect yourself, your team, your information, and the people whose rights you are trying to uphold from external threats. The modules on safety and security complement the Human Rights Monitoring training and include key concepts related to security culture, personal security, psychological well-being, and digital security. The digital security modules will enable you to secure your information while in transit (communication) while at rest (in storage) and will enable you to stay safe while surfing the internet.