Article 19

Human rights organisation that defends free speech. Provides a simplified online network for NGOs to make reports to the UN.

Achieved with CookiesHQ since December 2017

  • 25
    NGOs joined platform
  • 5 weeks
    web app built
  • 4
    UN rapporteurs onboarded

Working to protect freedom of expression

Founded in 1987, ARTICLE 19 is a British human rights organisation that fights for hostages of censorship, defends dissenting voices and campaigns against laws and practices that silence people. With offices in London, Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and Senegal, and in collaboration with 90 partners worldwide, they build or reform institutions and policies to protect transparency and the free flow of information.


ARTICLE 19 provides expertise on international human rights standards and legislation that protects the right to speak and right to know in countries emerging from conflict, war and genocide or repression. They also report violations of journalists’ rights to the Special Rapporteur of The United Nations’ Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OCHCR).

Creating a better reporting tool

Unfortunately, the OCHCR’s own reporting system proved tricky to use. The submission process was long, complicated and not at all transparent. There was no clear data on the speed or quality of responses, or even if submissions had a response at all. They needed a team to work on creating a better solution – and fast.

ARTICLE 19 approached us to help them design and develop a new platform. First, we simplified the submission process so that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) could bring more violations to the UN’s attention. The new system was also carefully designed to encourage more structured submissions of a higher quality. We then made the work carried out by case handlers visible so they could track their progress and lobby for more resources from OCHCR if needed. Named the RAE Network, this new system will eventually be able to make detailed reports on response data available to all member states, UN agencies and civil societies.

ARTICLE 19 staff presented the new platform to partner NGOs and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. It’s already recognised as simpler and quicker to use than the existing option, providing flexibility and security to NGOs all around the world. As the RAE Network is rolled out to more partners, we’re already collecting feedback, adding new features and making the platform even stronger.

Technologies used: Ruby on Rails, ElasticSearch, Heroku

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