The need to establish the truth around events is central to goals of transitional justice, particularly securing accountability, establishing legitimate and effective justice mechanisms, and laying the foundations for a peaceful society.
Documentation to provide verifiable and widely accepted accounts of such events is a critical component of establishing this truth, or the multiple truths that may exist for a population. It is difficult to overstate the important role of documentation in transitional justice efforts. If some of what follows sounds familiar, echoing points of previous posts, it is no coincidence. Documentation, in a word, is the ...
Audrey Chapman and Patrick Ball. “The Truth of Truth Commissions: Comparative Lessons from Haiti, South Africa, and Guatemala.” Human Rights Quarterly. 23(4):1-42. 2001
In July 2009, The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) concluded a three-year project with the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help clarify Liberia's violent history and hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable for their actions. (This work was conducted by HRDAG while with Benetech.)
In the course of this work, HRDAG analyzed more than 17,000 victim and witness statements collected by the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and compiled the data into a report entitled "Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission." The report is included as an annex to the final ...
In July 2009, The Human Rights Data Analysis Group concluded a three-year project with the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help clarify Liberia’s violent history and hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable for their actions. In the course of this work, HRDAG analyzed more than 17,000 victim and witness statements collected by the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and compiled the data into a report entitled “Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
Liberian TRC data and the accompanying data dictionary
anonymized-statgivers.csv contains information ...
Large-scale human rights violations in Timor-Leste began in 1975 when the Indonesian government invaded the small island and continued until Timorese independence in 1999. Disappearances, torture, forced displacement and extra-judicial killings took place during the Indonesian occupation compounded by a severe famine. Estimates of deaths ranged from 50,000 to 200,000, but individual sources reflected only a fraction of total fatalities. The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR) asked HRDAG to investigate abuses during the conflict. This chapter describes how Ball and HRDAG scientists Romesh Silva and Scott Weikart ...
Tamy Guberek, Daniel Guzmán, Romesh Silva, Kristen Cibelli, Jana Asher, Scott Weikart, Patrick Ball, and Wendy Grossman. “Truth and Myth in Sierra Leone: An Empirical Analysis of the Conflict, 1991–2000″ (pdf). A report by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group and the American Bar Association. March 28, 2006.
From the Guatemalan military to the South African apartheid police, code cruncher Patrick Ball singles out the perpetrators of political violence.
Huffington Post Politics writer Matt Easton interviews Patrick Ball, executive director of HRDAG, about the latest enumeration of killings in Syria. As selection bias is increasing, it becomes harder to see it: we have the “appearance of perfect knowledge, when in fact the shape of that knowledge has not changed that much,” says Patrick. “Technology is not a substitute for science.”
Amanda Taub of Vox has interviewed HRDAG executive director about the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
Patrick Ball, Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and one of the report’s authors, explained to me that this new report is not a statistical estimate of the number of people killed in the conflict so far. Rather, it’s an actual list of specific victims who have been identified by name, date, and location of death. (The report only tracked violent killings, not “excess mortality” deaths from from disease or hunger that the conflict is causing indirectly.)
Who We Are
The Human Rights Data Analysis Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that applies rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world. We are a team with expertise in mathematical statistics, computer science, demography, and social science. We are non-partisan—we do not take sides in political or military conflicts, nor do we advocate any particular political party or government policy. However, we are not neutral: we are always in favor of human rights. We support the protections established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and ...
Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group Publishes 2010 Analysis of Human Rights Violations in Five Counties
Analysis of Uncovered Government Data from Guatemala and Chad Clarifies History and Supports Criminal Prosecutions
By Ann Harrison
The past year of research by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) has supported criminal prosecutions and uncovered the truth about political violence in Guatemala, Iran, Colombia, Chad and Liberia. On today's celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, HRDAG invites the international community to engage scientifically defensible methodologies that illumi...
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 ...
The tension started in the witness room. “You could feel the stress rolling off the walls in there,” Patrick Ball remembers. “I can remember realizing that this is why lawyers wear sport coats – you can’t see all the sweat on their arms and back.” He was, you could say, a little nervous to be cross-examined by Slobodan Milosevic.