Open-source safety app for female journalists and human rights defenders

Círculo is an open-source safety app for Android and iOS devices. It offers a secure place to share locations and check-in while traveling or doing high-risk work. Originally designed to strengthen support networks among female journalists in Latin America, the app complements protocols-of-action established by a group of people, in which each member knows their role in possible high-risk scenarios.

Círculo is a protected place, outside of normal communication channels, ensuring that high-importance messages and alerts are not lost in other conversations. It can help women feel more secure, supported, and never alone—and allow women journalists and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) to continue their vital work.

The app was built in Mexico, through a participatory process, to address the specific context of the country (its levels of impunity, public insecurity, digital divide, and violence against journalists, among others), with a human rights and gender perspective.

OTF’s latest round of funding is supporting user-experience improvements, additional security features, and community engagement (including workshops with target communities).