FAQ Defenders’ Database

What is the Defenders’ Database?

The Defenders’ Database is an online tool created with and for human rights defenders and civil society organisations. It allows for human rights defenders and others to document and systematise information regarding human rights violations and abuses committed against them or others in connection with their work to promote, defend, and protect human rights.

Why is it sometimes called DiDi?

DiDi is the abbreviation of the Defenders’ Database and was also used as a working name when the database was developed. One of the reasons for choosing DiDi is that it works well in several different languages, which is an advantage as the database target group is spread over a large number of countries.

What can the Defenders’ Database be used for?

The Defenders’ Database provides and facilitates human rights defenders and civil society organisations anywhere in the world with a platform that helps them organise, collect, store, process, document, analyse, visualise, and protect information and data related to human rights violations and abuses.

How does the Defenders’ Database work?

The step-by-step process is the main feature of the Defenders’ Database. By using the step-by-step feature, users can create reports on human rights violations and abuses. The feature consists of dropdown menus, text fields, text boxes, and tick boxes. Aside from the basic requirements for creating a report, users can also upload photos, videos, audio recordings, and documents to their report.

The reports can be analysed through a number of built-in features, as well as be categorised, tracked and monitored, and/or exported or shared online.

Who can use the Defenders’ Database?

The Defenders’ Database is available to human rights defenders and civil society organisations that have entered into an agreement with Civil Rights Defenders. For more information, please contact us.

What is Civil Rights Defenders’ role in the Defenders’ Database?

The Defenders’ Database is a tool created and administrated by Civil Rights Defenders. Civil Rights Defenders ensures the ongoing maintenance and hosting of the tool, defines the rules that users need to observe in order to not abuse or otherwise damage the tool, is in charge of troubleshooting bugs and errors, and leads further development of the database. We also maintain an open line of contact with users.

How do I start using the Defenders’ Database?

If you are a human rights defender and are interested in the Defenders’ Database, please contact Civil Rights Defenders to discuss the possibilities of becoming a user.

Do I need training to use the Defenders’ Database?

No specific human rights or IT skills are needed to use the Defenders’ Database. Nevertheless, preparation is useful in order to safely collect human rights information and use the Defenders’ Database efficiently. Civil Rights Defenders has provided such training for the past 35 years and specialises in offering training based on the specific needs of human rights defenders.

Who owns the information reported to the Defenders’ Database?

Each user is the owner of the data that they report to the Defenders’ Database. If a user terminates its user agreement with Civil Rights Defenders, we will return all data to the users in a machine-readable format, and remove it from the database. Read more in the Defenders’ Database Privacy Policy.

Is the information reported to the Defenders’ Database quality assured?

Civil Rights Defenders does not quality check the data in the Defenders’ Database and is not responsible for how data is reported. What we do check are the routines and policies of users. Read more in the Defenders’ Database Privacy Policy.

Is the information reported to the Defenders’ Database safe?

To Civil Rights Defenders, the protection of human rights is more important than anything else. This includes the protection of the data that users entrust us with. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, can be claimed to be 100% secure. While we strive to ensure the highest standard of technical and organisational security measures, we always warrant that users understand the opportunities and limitations of working with online tools. Read more about security in the Defenders’ Database Privacy Policy.

Is the information reported to the Defenders’ Database made public?

It is up to each user to decide if they want to publish anonymised data from their Defenders’ Database account. Through easily exported reports, like charts, graphs, and/or maps in other publications or online through a website plugin, each user decides if and how they want to make the information public.

Civil Rights Defenders may, upon written consent by the user, publish reports, statements, articles, and other material with anonymised data, clearly stating the owner of the data. Publications including personal data are only published with the informed consent of the person whose personal data is included. Read more in the Defenders’ Database Privacy Policy.

Do I need to be connected to the Internet to use the Defenders’ Database?

Yes, the Defenders’ Database is an online tool. In the future, we are hoping to offer a smartphone application that allows for offline reporting as part of the Defenders’ Database toolkit.

Can the Defenders’ Database be used on mobile phones or tablets?

Yes, the Defenders’ Database works on both computers and mobile phones and tablets as long as you have access to the Internet. Civil Rights Defenders is also in the process of developing a smartphone application that allows users to report human rights violations and abuses offline and synchronise their data when they have access to the Internet.

Is the Defenders’ Database open source?

No, it is not.

How can I support the Defenders’ Database?

An easy way to contribute to our work with the Defenders’ Database is via a donation to Civil Rights Defenders. Your donations strengthen human rights defenders in some of the world’s most repressive regions.

How do I get in contact with someone about the Defenders’ Database?

Send us an email.