11 June 2021
Up to 5,000 human rights activists from across the globe will be provided with a free virtual private network (VPN) to enable them to safely participate in the Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum in August.
The Forum’s six events are taking place in person in Copenhagen and Malmö, but the ongoing impact of the pandemic means that many activists are unable to travel.
A VPN is an app that keeps a user’s internet connection private, whether they’re connecting to unsafe public Wi-Fi or a network at home or work. Virtual private networks protect users by creating an encrypted ‘tunnel’ that all data travels through on its way to the internet.
The VPN licenses have been donated by TunnelBear and are worth approximately €40 per user, or €200,000 in total.
All events of the Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum will be delivered in person and digitally, with registered guests able to fully participate through the Zoom platform. All events will be streamed to YouTube where they can be viewed without registration. Speakers at the Human Rights Forum include HRH Crown Princess of Denmark, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Aron Le Fèvre, Director of Human Rights for Copenhagen 2021, said:
“It is a sad and alarming reality that human rights activists face abuse and violence in many countries in the world and it’s vitally important that they can take part in digital events safely, without having to worry about leaving a digital footprint. Our partnership with TunnelBear means that we can support activists to participate in our Human Rights Forum, but also benefit from the VPN for a whole year.”
Rodrigue Hajjar, Director of VPN at TunnelBear, said:
“TunnelBear recognises that the fight for human rights involves an increasingly digital element, and that a secure browsing experience is crucial to participation in this fight. We are proud to support activists attending the Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum with our VPN service, this effort is part of our commitment to an open and uncensored internet.”
Applications can be submitted on the Copenhagen 2021 website. Successful applicants will receive a code to activate their VPN on 1 August.