Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
Theme: Media Freedoms and Digital Rights
Location: Home Based
Contract Type: Consultant
Duration of Assignment: 30 Working Days
With support from USAID, the PROGRESS Consortium is currently implementing the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) Program to improve the recognition, awareness, and enforcement of human rights in the region, including protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Progress Consortium is made up of Freedom House, the American Bar Association (ABA), Internews and PACT. The ARISA Program will run for a period of five (5) years with a focus on the following thematic issues which have been identified as crucial for the promotion of human rights in the region:
- Women’s customary land rights;
- Indigenous Peoples’ rights;
- Media freedoms and digital rights and;
- The rights of human rights defenders as a cross-cutting theme.
To achieve its programme objectives, the ARISA program through the ABA seeks to engage the services of a consultant to develop an Alternative Model Law on Computer Crime and Cybercrime for Southern Africa. This work will be undertaken under the Program’s thematic area on Media Freedoms and Digital Rights.
As part of its work on promoting media freedoms inclusive of digital rights in Southern Africa, the ARISA Programme through the ABA has undertaken various activities related to this thematic area. These activities included research to understand the regional and national landscapes on media freedoms and digital rights in Southern Africa; training partners from civil society and the legal profession to identify rights violations and litigate in this area of human rights; and engage in advocacy initiatives for the promotion and protection of these rights. A key finding of the ABA's engagement on this thematic area in the region is that there is ongoing transposition/ adoption and revision of computer crime and cybercrimes national laws guided by the SADC Model laws. However, the resultant national laws are not adequately protecting citizens’ media freedoms and digital rights.
The Program has thus undertaken two major research projects, culminating in the production of two reports titled “An Analysis of the Southern African Development Community Cybersecurity Legal Framework: A Human Rights Based Approach” and “Analysis of the Eswatini Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill, 2020: A Human Rights Based Approach”. The former report analysed the regional and national legal framework on computer crime and cybercrime in Southern Africa and the later report was in response to the gazetting of the Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill in Eswatini in 2020. The two reports highlighted that the SADC regional and national frameworks on computer crime and cybercrime focus mainly on computer crime and cybercrime prevention, detection and prosecution and provide no support for citizens’ enjoyment of their rights online. In light of this shortcoming, the ARISA Program seeks to develop an alternative Model Law at the SADC regional level, with a focus on citizens’ online rights to ensure that as countries develop their computer crime and cybercrime laws, they provide strong mechanisms to support citizens’ rights in the cyberspace.
Objectives of the Assignment
The main objective of the assignment is to develop a SADC regional alternative Model Law on Computer Crime and Cybercrime. The Model Law will be deployed to guide civil society engagement with regional leaders, particularly at national level to ensure that national laws on computer crime and cybercrime protect citizens’ online rights.
Key Activities and Deliverables
Using the two above-mentioned ARISA reports as a starting point, the Consultant will be required to:
- Produce an Inception Report;
- Undertake additional research to identify best practices at national, regional and international levels for a human rights based computer crime and cybercrime legal framework;
- Engage stakeholders in Southern Africa and internationally through online interviews to obtain their views and proposals on the content of the alternative Model Law; and
- Develop an Alternative Model Law on Computer Crime and Cybercrime in Southern Africa that is informed by the ARISA reports, desk research and stakeholder input.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s and/or Master’s Degree in Law, Human Rights, Political Science or Journalism;
- At least 5-10 years of professional experience at national, regional or international levels working on human rights, digital rights and media rights;
- Candidates must demonstrate a strong understanding and knowledge of computer crime and cybercrime policy; legal, governance and institutional frameworks in Southern Africa and internationally;
- Experience in researching, teaching and publishing on computer crime and cybercrime and related law and rights at national, regional and international levels;
- Experience in legislative drafting and analysis;
- Good understanding of country contexts on computer crime and cybercrime in Southern Africa; and
- Familiarity with the legal systems in Southern Africa.
Interested and qualified applicants must submit their applications clearly marked “Development of SADC Alternative Model Law on Computer Crime and Cybercrime” to email@example.com by the 24th of March 2021. The application must contain a budget, curriculum vitae and an application letter demonstrating the applicant’s qualifications and experience and how these fit within the scope of the proposed assignment.