We are statisticians for human rights
Being independent, non-profit, and non-partisan, we can apply rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world. As scientists, we work to support our partners—the advocates and human rights defenders who “speak truth to power”—by producing unbiased, scientific results that bring clarity to human rights violence and by ensuring that the “truth” is the most accurate truth possible.
Three directives guide our work:
Apply science to create new knowledge
We help to establish a scientifically defensible historical record of human rights abuses, including publishing public reports and providing expert testimony in war crimes trials.
Conduct basic research and development
We invent and extend scientific methods so that we can better understand patterns of mass violence.
Educate through outreach
Through speaking engagements, publications, and training graduate students, we help those working in the human rights community to better understand the role and power of statistical data and reasoning.
Projects We’ve Been Working On
At the request of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), HRDAG undertook a comparison of seven datasets documenting killings in Syria. Based on this analysis, we found 59,648 unique, identifiable records of killings between March 2011 and November 2012. Our work on Syria continues, paying special attention to what is happening in the Syrian prison system...
Having worked in more than thirty countries facing oppressive violence, our experience tells us that official homicide reports are often inadequate. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report claimed that from 2003 to 2009 and 2011, there were approximately 7,427 US homicides committed by police. Through careful analysis of BJS data and methods, we arrive at a very different conclusion...
Hissène Habré’s rule over Chad (1982–1990) was marked by allegations of systematic torture and crimes against humanity. Habré claims he was not aware of violations committed by the Documentation and Security Directorate, the state security force that pursued political opponents and operated prisons. We prove otherwise, in court...