There seems to be an app for everything, whether it’s a portable version of a streaming service or an alarm clock that won’t shut off until you solve a math problem. In recent years, human rights organizations have seen the potential for the technology and developed very innovative programs. Apps are a great way to provide people with information and tools that actually get them involved in standing up for equality around the world. Here are five available for free:
In 2017, the UN Human Rights Office released an app that puts human-rights related stories right at a user’s fingertips. It’s essentially a news portal focusing on a variety of human rights issues, giving users the ability to search by country, region, or issue. If you are especially interested in one type of story or what’s going on a specific location, you can adjust the app’s settings to only show you stories that are relevant. The app is available on the App Store for both Apple and Android, as well as the Google Play store. Information is updated daily with a 3-month archive.
Developed by Quadrant 2, this app gives users a way to record police encounters for the ACLU. In this era, police violence and harassment is finally coming to light thanks to brave people willing to pull out their phones. This app has three main features: the record function, the ability to write a more detailed report for the ACLU, and an overview of citizens’ rights when encountering the police. The app has versions for at least 16 states right now.
Human trafficking is a global issue that affects countless men, women, and children. Many encounters with victims and the people who buy their services occur in hotel rooms, while traffickers take pictures of them in hotel rooms for advertisements, too. TraffickCam is for travelers who want to help law enforcement find the trafficking victims. Every time the app user is in a hotel or motel, they take a picture with the app and upload it. The photos are sent to a national database with a state-of-the-art analyzer tool that can identify key features of the rooms. Law enforcement can then check the database and with more software, compare the pictures of rooms. When a match comes up, they are able to better find victims and arrest the traffickers.
Interested in buying only from brands and companies that don’t discriminate against the LGBT community? The HR Campaign Buyer’s Guide is a database that let you check how various brands and companies stack up against the Corporate Equality Index. The index is scored out of 100, with 80-100 qualifying as “high.” A “moderate” score, which ends at 46, indicates a company is taking steps to stop discrimination. A low score includes companies that have not responded to questions from the HR Campaign or have demonstrated discriminating policies. You can search by shopping category (like “entertainment” or “health & beauty”) or alphabetically. The app will also let you know what other companies are owned by the brand, i.e. Kroger owns City Market and Fred Meyer.
Following the long Sri Lankan civil war, members of the rebel Tamil Tiger fighters were allegedly executed. In a trial, prosecutors had video footage, but it couldn’t be verified, so it couldn’t be used in court. This is a common problem, so eyeWitness to Atrocities was created with assistance from a London legal data firm. What the app does is allow users to record a video, which is then time and GPS-stamped, along with other vital metadata. The footage is sent to the app’s secure server (the user gets a copy) and thoroughly-analyzed and encrypted. In 2016, the app won the Geneva Centre for Security Policy Prize for Innovation in Global Security. When you use eyeWitness, nobody can say the footage is faked or manipulated.