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#HakOnline: Sabah Youth’s Digital Rights Workshop

On 24 to 25 November 2023, in collaboration with Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All (SERATA), we held a digital rights workshop with 22 Sabah university students at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu.

The workshop saw a total of 10 women and 12 men, aged 18 to 26, with some of the hailing from outskirts of the city center such as Tamaparuli and Kota Belud and others from Kota Kinabalu. The workshop aims to develop the students’ understanding on the fundamentals of digital rights and their importance in today’s Malaysia digital landscape.

During those two days, we explored together with the students on the concept of meaningful internet access and relevant digital rights such as freedom of expression, hate speech, online gender-based violence and right to information in which students tried to apply these rights online in the Sabahan context. The participants also got an opportunity to envision their ideal internet and the digital world that will benefit their communities. Most of them had shared that they would like internet access to be free for all.

At the end of the session, participants shared that they wished the workshop would have been longer as they enjoyed the insights they had gained and the connections they had made. Most of them had shared that it was their first time attending a workshop like this, especially one that diverged from traditional top-down methodologies. This shows that there is a need to expand such efforts to East Malaysia in order to ensure that the communities there have continued access to such opportunities for their personal development.

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