This week the people at Civil Rights Defenders, a campaign group that “empowers human rights defenders at risk,” has begun distributing specially-made bracelets to aid workers in dangerous parts of the world in an attempt to protect them against harm. The bracelets contain mobile phone technology that can be used to send alerts manually or automatically if the worker is threatened. “The alarm sends out information about its owner and where they were when they were attacked. Other staff nearby will also be alerted so they can start to take action to help anyone in distress.”
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What’s the Big Idea?
The bracelets aren’t just for workers to track each other: People with social media accounts will be able to “follow” one or more bracelets, and if something happens to the wearer, they too will be alerted. The hope is that the possibility of a global backlash will serve as a deterrent to attackers, says Civil Rights Defenders executive director Robert Hardh: “Most of us, given the chance, would like to help others in danger…These [workers] are risking their lives for others to have the right to vote, or to practise religion or free speech.” The organization intends to distribute 55 bracelets by the end of next year, and is currently looking for funding to make more.