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Killings of Social Movement Leaders in Colombia

Using multiple system estimation, we estimate the total population of social movement leaders killed in Colombia during 2018.

HRDAG is hiring – technical lead

If this could be you, let us know. Also, please feel free to pass on this link to great people. Job Title. Technical lead with a hacker's heart Location. A cool office in SOMA, San Francisco. You need to be on-site with us. What we do. The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) develops statistical techniques to measure human rights atrocities. Our work helps bring dictators to justice through data analysis of human rights atrocities around the world. Over more than 20 years, our small team has developed technology and statistical techniques to take disjoint, incomplete, and inaccurate information from conflict zones and process it to identify ...

USA

HRDAG’s analysis and expertise continues to deepen the national conversation about police violence and criminal justice reform in the United States. In 2015 we began by considering undocumented victims of police violence, relying on the same methodological approach we’ve tested internationally for decades. Shortly after, we examined “predictive policing” software, and demonstrated the ways that racial bias is baked into the algorithms. Following our partners’ lead, we next considered the impact of bail, and found that setting bail increases the likelihood of a defendant being found guilty. We then broadened our investigations to examine ...

Sri Lanka

Ten years after the war ended in Sri Lanka, we still don’t know to the nearest ten thousand how many people perished. The estimates for the death toll for the last five months of the war alone vary between 7000 and 147,000. In 2011, the UN said it thought approximately 40,000 civilians had died; then in 2012 an internal UN report estimated it was at least 70,000. Population data from World Bank and UN sources indicated that more than 100,000 Tamils living in the conflict areas in the north have not returned home after the war. HRDAG has provided technical assistance to a broad range of non-governmental human rights organizations in Sri ...

Data Archaeology for Human Rights in Central America: HRDAG Collaborates with UWCHR

Patrick Ball is kicking himself for a decision he made almost 25 years ago. “I was clever, but I wasn’t smart,” he says ruefully, as he considers the labyrinth of tables and ASCII-encoded keystrings he used to design a database of human rights violations for the pioneering Salvadoran non-governmental Human Rights Commission (CDHES). Now I’m sitting in his office in San Francisco’s Mission District watching over his shoulder, and trying to keep up, as he bangs out code to decipher the priceless data contained in these old files. Created in 1991 and 1992, during the last days of El Salvador’s internal armed conflict, the files detail ...

Syria: No word on four abducted activists

Razan Zatouneh is an esteemed colleague of ours, and we are one of 57 organizations demanding immediate release for her and the three other human rights defenders still missing. A year on, no information on Douma Four The prominent Syrian human rights defenders Razan Zaitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wa’el Hamada and Nazem Hamadi – the Douma Four—remain missing a year after their abduction, 57 organizations said today. The four were abducted in Duma, a city near Damascus under the control of armed opposition groups. They should be released immediately, the groups said. On 9 December 2013, at about 10:40 pm, a group of armed men stormed into the ...

Lessons at HRDAG: Making More Syrian Records Usable

If we could glean key missing information from those fields, we would be able to use more records.

Rionegro

Text in English El uso de información de cementerios en la búsqueda de los desaparecidos: lecciones de un estudio piloto en Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia Entre mayo y julio de 2009, investigadores del Grupo de Análisis de Datos de Derechos Humanos de Benetech (HRDAG por su sigla en inglés), condujeron un estudio piloto que examinó los patrones de la información sobre los cadáveres sin identificar en el cementerio de Rionegro, un municipio en el departamento de Antioquia, Colombia. El estudio se realizó en apoyo a los actuales esfuerzos de la organización socia de HRDAG, EQUITAS (Equipo Colombiano Interdisciplinario de Trabajo Forense y ...

Deportation Possible for El Salvador’s Gen. García – Supported by HRDAG Analysis

Gen. José Guillermo García, El Salvador’s defense minister from 1979 to 1983, may be deported from Florida to El Salvador because of his involvement in war crimes that occurred under his command. The recommendation comes from a Miami immigration judge, whose decision was supported with expert testimony from Stanford political science professor Terry Karl, who presented extensive statistical analysis of killings, disappearances, kidnappings, torture and other crimes under Gen. García’s watch. The statistical analysis was a joint effort between Professor Karl and Amelia Hoover Green and Patrick Ball of Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG). ...

The Statistics of Mortality Due to Conflict in Peru

A key point is that human rights data collection prior to the TRC largely ignored violence by the Shining Path.

Timor-Leste

During the violence in Timor-Leste in June 2006, armed gangs broke into the offices of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) in Dili and stole their motorbikes. The Human Rights Data Analysis Group, then at Benetech®, and other human rights observers wondered whether the mobs would soon return to loot the irreplaceable paper records used by the CAVR to compile their definitive report entitled "Chega!" The Benetech Initiative contributed to the CAVR findings and released a separate statistical report (PDF) establishing that at least 102,800 (+/- 11,000) Timorese died as a result of human rights violations in Timor-Leste ...

Analizando los patrones de violencia en Colombia con más de 100 bases de datos

El objetivo de esta institución temporal es conocer la verdad de lo ocurrido en el  marco del conflicto armado.

The UDHR Turns 70

We're thinking about how rigorous analysis can fortify debates about components of our criminal justice system such as cash bail, pretrial risk assessment and fairness in general.

Tchad – Reportage Photo

[English] Hissène Habré fût le Président de l’ancienne colonie française du Tchad de 1982 à 1990. De nombreuses allégations crédibles de torture systématique et de crimes contre l’humanité ont été faites contre la Direction de Documentation et de Sécurité (DDS), les forces de l’ordre responsables pour la persécution d’adversaires du régime Habré qui étaient aussi responsables pour l’administration de nombreuses prisons durant ce régime. “La Piscine” est une ancienne piscine qui a été couverte par un toit en béton. Il est allégué qu’il s’agissait là d’une des prisons de la DDS dans laquelle de nombreux ...

HRDAG Retreat 2022

A week in the California redwoods amongst a hodgepodge of people united by their passion for using quantitative analysis to combat injustice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Multiple Systems Estimation What is MSE?  What do you mean by statistical inference?  What is an overlap, and how do we know when lists overlap?   How does MSE find the total number of violations?  How was MSE originally developed?  How does the Benetech Human Rights Program use MSE?    1. What is MSE? A: Multiple Systems Estimation, or MSE, is a family of techniques for statistical inference. MSE uses the overlaps between several incomplete lists of human rights violations to determine the total number of violations. Return to Top 2. What do you mean by statistical inference? A: ...

Update on Work in Guatemala and the AHPN

HRDAG has sampled and analyzed documents at Guatemala's AHPN and has testified against war criminals based on that analysis.

HRDAG Analysis Supports Efforts to Hold Salvadoran Commanders Accountable for 1989 Jesuit Massacre

Almost a quarter century ago, on November 16, 1989, six Jesuit scholars, their housekeeper and her 15-year-old daughter were massacred inside the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Their chief target was the rector of the country’s leading university. The murders were carried out by members of the elite Atlacatl Battalion, acting on the direct orders of the highest-ranking members of the Salvadoran military. The United Nations–sponsored Truth Commission for El Salvador found that members of the Salvadoran military's high command “gave...the order to kill Father Ignacio Ellacuría and to leave no witnesses.” ...

Multiple Systems Estimation: Does it Really Work?

<< Previous post, MSE: Stratification and Estimation Q15. Are there other MSE models one might use with human rights data? Q16. Is it possible to use MSE to model non-lethal human rights violations? Q17. I am concerned about using MSE with my data, because the datasets were gathered by opposing organizations. Victims who were reported to an NGO were very unlikely to be reported to state sources, but also very likely to be reported to religious organizations. Won't that cause the overlaps between the NGO list and the state list to be artificially low, and the overlaps between the NGO list and the church list to be artificially high? Does ...

Talks

Upcoming Talks TBA Past Talks 2015 Presentation on the research behind the Evaluation of the Kosovo Memory Book Database. National Archive, Pristina, Kosovo. Patrick Ball. February 4, 2015. How do we know what we know? Patrick Ball. Arizona State University. January, 2015. AAAS Science & Human Rights Coalition Meeting: Big Data & Human Rights. Megan Price, panelist. Washington, D.C. January 15-16, 2015. Examining the Crisis in Syria: Conference Hosted by New America and Arizona State University’s Center on the Future of War and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Megan Price, panelist. Washingt...

Our work has been used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations. We have worked with partners on projects on five continents.

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