App against gender-based violence wins Innovation Challenge 2019

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This years Civil Rights Defenders Innovation Challenge, an annual human rights focused technology award, rewards a team of lawyers and journalists. The winning proposal aims to create a game intended to raise the issue of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence is not criminalised in certain countries, something that Civil Rights Defenders hopes this game will highlight the issue and be a new way to start conversations gender-based violence.

The winners’ previous endeavours in gamification have already been very successful when covering current social topics. In their earlier games they have used motivators as points to score, chests to be found and trails to be discovered, and therefore have inspired to important – and difficult – conversations. In their new game will simulate a friend whose partner turns violent and allow the player to try different strategies to resolve the situation, as a way of facing the issue of gender-based violence head-on.

Marcin de Kaminski, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders comments:

Our mission is to spread human rights in every way we can. We believe that by supporting innovation with a purpose, more people will become engaged. The game will contribute to awareness of the issue of violence against women and hopefully be a starting point for a very important, albeit difficult conversation

Gender-based violence is a common occurrence all around the world and often abused partners can’t count on the police, as domestic violence in many countries is not even criminalised. This means that social norms regarding gender-based violence must be faced in other ways and the winning team believes that the proposed game will be a new and interesting way to talk about societal norms and strengthen women.

Due to safety concerns, Civil Rights Defenders in dialogue with the winning team have decided not to disclose their names nor country of activity. Just as many of the Civil Rights Defenders partner organisations, the team is active in an environment that is hostile to actors covering human rights issues forcing both them and Civil Rights Defenders to take additional safety precautions.

The Innovation Challenge is a yearly competition where people and groups from all around the world compete in presenting an innovative way to strengthen human rights work globally or in specific regions. The award is presented by the human rights organisation Civil Rights Defenders, which every year awards a person or group finding new and innovative ways of raising awareness of human rights across the world.


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Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) is an independent expert organisation founded in 1982 in Sweden, with the mission to defend people's civil and political rights and empower human rights defenders at risk worldwide. CRD has a presence on four continents and is active in some of the world's most repressive regions. By working in collaboration with 200 local partners and focusing on innovation, the goal is to achieve long-term sustainable change.