Arul Prakkash

 

Trainer on: Video Advocacy/Video and technology for Human Rights Advocacy & Campaigns/Online & offline holistic Security

Arul Prakkash is a senior program manager, Asia & the Pacific at WITNESS, an NGO that helps human rights defenders to use video to expose and document injustice and human rights violations and to use video & technology as an effective tool in advocacy strategies.

Prakkash is a human rights activist & advocate who specialised in using video and technology in advocacy and community organising. He leads WITNESS’ programmatic work in Asia and the Pacific. WITNESS contributes video advocacy training to DTP’s courses and Prakkash has been a DTP trainer for many years.

“I see DTP training as a network-building opportunity. DTP training offers a space where people meet to support each other’s cause and build greater solidarity. It is important to have this kind of training for human rights advocates.” 

DTP’s courses introduce participants to the work of WITNESS, which also offers more specialised and ongoing support to human rights defenders wanting to use video advocacy/storytelling techniques.

Prakkash trains DTP participants how to use video and how the cameras on mobile phones can be a tool for human rights advocacy. He teaches the “why” and the “how”. He trains how to preserve and archive videos for justice and human rights, and why this is important. He also teaches activists how to consider and improve their physical security and digital security.

“DTP training is always close to my heart, and every year, I look forward to the training because this is the place where I can meet activists and human rights defenders from South East Asia and South Asia. I want to support and be part of their struggle for human rights.”

Prakkash believes that video advocacy must be an integral part of human rights advocacy in this digital age. With the proliferation of social media, human rights advocates can reach out to anyone with their video evidence and use this technology in their leverage.

“When I see DTP alumni using video in their struggles, I feel my time contributed to DTP is very rewarding. It is like OK, we are doing something right—the training and the module works.”

Prakkash feels DTP’s relevance in the Asia Pacific region has never been more critical since the region is going through democratic backsliding. Within these challenging situations DTP could increase awareness and build greater solidarity in the region through its human rights training programs, and connecting their alumni and trainers.

Profile written March 2022