In the past weeks the Natalia Project , a security bracelet with GPS and GSM technology developed by Swedish based PFO Tech for Civil Rights Defenders, has been assigned to human rights activists in Albania and Montenegro. The bracelet enables a bearer to send a distress signal with a live GPS position to an assigned group of people.
Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist and Executive Director of the organisation LGBT Pro in Albania, is exposed to threats and hate crime on a daily basis. For him, the bracelet represents a strong moral support in his day-to-day work. ”Behind the bracelet there is an entire system and organisation with people, institutions, and media ready and willing to act in case of an emergency. It is a way for human rights activists not to feel alone and it is definitely the best tool for empowering them. When you are an activists, sometimes you forget about practical details like security, you are driven by your activism and ideals,” says Pinderi.
Another activist to receive the bracelet is Vanja Ćalović, head of MANS, an organisation that works on corruption issues Montenegro, a country that has been beset with corruption scandals, often involving high-ranking officials. ”Bearing in mind the nature of MANS work, the fact that we are investigating some of the most powerful criminals in the country, and their dealings with politicians, our security is a matter of concern. I find the Natalia Bracelet a useful security tool that will be especially helpful during my field work.” says Vanja Ćalović.
Johan Carlsson, CEO of PFO Tech , is pleased to see the collaboration with Civil Rights Defenders progressing and expanding globally. “Every bracelet becomes an army of support for the person wearing it. The knowledge alone that that army will be notified the minute your safety is compromised will make anybody’s day easier, especially for high-risk workers like rights activists,” says Carlsson.