Victims of Military abductions surfaced due to Writ of Amparo
Full text of the writ of Amparo can be found here

Printed copies available, email rbahaguejr [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Documenting Human Rights Violations using Free Software

This post was prompted by a number of inquiries on CPU's human rights violations documentation toolkit (karapatan-monitor) released recently as free and open source software.

More than the technologies that are available (marthus, karapatan-monitor, huridocs) the most important component in this work is the capacity of the organization to gather, organize and campaign against human rights violations.

Data gathering centers should be accessible to the public. These centers should be capable in providing immediate response and document properly all related circumstances on the incident. Credible data gathering methods and sources should also be established. Otherwise, data will always be doubted.

Data gathered should be properly identified for types of violations. Prior to this, a category or list of violations should be drawn up. This list can be based on the country's constitution, international humanitarian laws, un declarations and the likes. This would greatly help in the organization of data. karapatan-monitor requires that this categories are present. Unlike marthus, which allows all violations with categories done by every user. Marthus then
has to develop a mining tool just to gather similar violations. This is not encountered in karapatan-monitor. All entries are categorized already upon entry.

Data storage using databases will allow easy retrieval during campaigns. If you have visited the demo site of karapatan-monitor and seen the reports page, different reports are already available. We are also updating this part. In the next version, statistics of individual perpetrators will already be available.

Relevance of data should also be a priority. All updates on the cases should be entered in the system.

Before choosing which technology to use, we suggest you should have a clear plan on the campaign (are you monitoring violations by the state or rebels?). Otherwise, data will be gathered but will not be useful and reporting individuals will just get frustrated.

You can visit and contact them for help in the workflow in their documentation process. CPU helped them clarified/simplified their process so it is easily integrated in karapatan-monitor.

It took us two years to have this first version. It was a long year just to map out the categories and campaign.

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