A new internet tool seeks to put activists in closed societies in touch with skilled people in the free world who can help them. It’s crowdsourcing for human rights.
When legendary former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky sought help from the outside world to fight for freedom decades ago, he had to rely largely on individuals he knew to get help from outside the Iron Curtain. The dissidents of the 21st century now have a new tool to connect them instantly over the internet to hundreds if not thousands of people around the world already standing ready to pitch in.
Today, the organization Advancing Human Rights will unveil a new web platform called Movements.org, a site where dissidents and human rights activists can go to access a growing network of lawyers, publicists, journalists, and human rights advocates and ask them for help on any range of tasks from seeking asylum, organizing their efforts, or just getting the word out to the world about their struggle. The project began with a $250,000 seed grant provided by Google, which has been expanding its involvement in the internet freedom space.