Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach is an online dialogue being facilitated by New Tactics in Human Rights, beginning today and running through February 5, 2010. From NT:

“This dialogue will feature practitioners that have developed database systems to document human rights violations, organizations on the ground documenting violations, and those that are training practitioners on how to choose the right approach and system for their documentation. We will look at options for ways to collect, store and share your human rights data safely and effectively. If you are trying to figure out the best documenting system for your work – or if you have found something that works well, please join us for this conversation to share your questions, ideas, resources and stories!”

Featured resource practitioners participating in this dialogue include:

  • Vijaya Tripathi and Megan Price work with the Martus database developed by Benetech
  • Agnethe Olesen, Daniel D’Esposito and Bert Verstappen work on the OpenEvSys database developed by HURIDOCS
  • Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project
  • Jorge Villagran and Sofia Espinosa of the Guatemalan National Police Archive Team
  • Patrick J. Pierce, head of the International Center for Translational Justice – Burma Program
  • Oleg Burlaca, utilizes HURIDOCS methodology and working on websites for World Organisation Against Torture and SOVA Center for Information and Analysis
  • Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist at Duke University and Seth Shaw, Duke’s Libraries’ Electronic Records Archivist
  • Jana Asher, M.S., is the Executive Director of StatAid
  • Agnieszka Raczynska of Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, Mexico
  • Daniel Rothenberg is the Managing Director of International Projects at the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) at DePaul University College of Law

The kick-off question is What is documentation? and encompasses such questions as:

  • What do we mean when we talk about human rights documentation?
  • Does ‘documentation’ mean the collection of documentions or the recording of facts about ongoing or recent events? Or both?
  • What are human rights violations?
  • What are some of the assumptions that we have about human rights violations?
  • What are the concerns about quality and standardization of documentation?
  • What is the ‘who did what to whom’ methodology and how can this be applied to documentation?


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