Using open data to stimulate new methods of human rights monitoring

25 February, 2016

Published by SunLightFoundation

The traditional strategy of monitoring human rights violations goes like this: Local and international human rights groups often focus on legal advocacy, representing the victims of human rights violations who are willing to testify in court. Resources are then allocated toward conducting interviews, gathering personal testimony and evidence for court, which is primarily anecdotal, to bolster these cases. Data science doesn’t always seem to fit neatly into this narrative, so the potential open data may have in supporting human rights monitoring hasn’t been fully explored. As we’ve laid out in our previous post, there are potential limitations and benefits to using open data to monitor human rights. Throughout this post, we will identify ways that open data can enhance human rights litigation, as well as explore examples where open data could inspire alternative methods for human rights monitoring.

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