Physical, emotional and digital protection while using home as office in times of COVID-19

A global pandemic is a new situation for all of us. Most of us already are or soon may be forced to start working remotely. Many will use their home as an office. In some places, there is no doubt this crisis will be abused to further repress human rights defenders (HRDs) and human rights organisations (HROs) like many other crisis situations have been used in the past. Physical and emotional environments are also very different for each of us.

However, Front Line Defenders has experience advising HRDs working remotely and part of its own team has been working remotely – and securely – for years. Below is some of our thinking and learning around the challenges of this modality of work. It is hard to put down one size fits all solutions, especially for physical and emotional protection. This is offered as inspiration to evaluate and improve protection of your particular situation. And if you are a HRD or HRO at risk in your country, you may always reach out to Front Line Defenders for help – the organisation is at work and fully operational during this time.

We encourage you to communicate clearly and promptly with your donors and partners regarding your particular situation. Donors in the human rights space are highly sensitive to the difficulties this crisis is posing to its partners and grantees, even as they face a variety of unprecedented challenges. We believe it makes situation much more manageable if they know what is possible and impossible at this moment for you and your organisation regarding your work or cooperation with them. They also may be able to help you with your specific needs right now, things like portable equipment to work from home or additional at-home security measures.

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Physical, emotional and digital protection while using home as office in times of COVID-19