Natalia Project is perfect for civil rights activists


There will always be tyranny in this world, and of course, it is up to the rest of the general populace to step up and be responsible in toppling such tyrants, although most of the time, such activists will be at a disadvantage for obvious reasons – they lack the machinery, military might and of course, financial backing to take up so public a cause. Not only that, the risks are high for campaigners, as they could end up beaten, kidnapped or in the very extreme, murdered, whih is why Civil Rights Defenders in Stockholm has rolled out the Natalia Project.

Why the Natalia Project? This particular title was named after Natalia Estemirova, a human rights activist who was abducted and subsequently, murdered, in Chechnya in 2009. The Natalia Project will see the development of an electronic bracelet which will be able to send a pre-programmed text alarm should it be activated or forcibly removed. Not only that, within the bracelet lies a wireless assault alarm system that will hopefully draw immediate attention to any assaults on human rights activists.

Civil Rights Defenders has so far remained rather quiet on the kind of technology that they have packed in the Natalia Project, but this is understandable. We do know, however, that it will use GPS and GSM technology, in addition to the fact that bracelet itself has been programmed with “individual protocols for security.” Apart from the bracelets, the Natalia Project will also encourage folks to sign up using Twitter or Facebook so that they will be on the receiving end of weekly updates on the project, in addition to being part of a global alert network. Civil Rights Defenders has every intention of deploying 30 of such bracelets sometime this year, and want to see up to 55 of these in use by 2014. Unfortunately, only one has been funded to date.


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