Choosing the Right Approach to Document Violations

sommaire en français Le dialogue en ligne Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach (la documentation des violations: choisir la bonne approche), organisée par New Tactics, a eu lieu du 27 janvier au 2 février 2010. Le dialogue complet et un résumé des discussions sont disponibles à

resumen en español El diálogo en línea Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach (Documentación de Violaciónes: Elegir el enfoque adecuado), organizado por New Tactics, tuvo lugar del 27 enero a 2 febrero 2010. El diálogo completo y un resumen de los debates están disponibles en

The on-line dialogue Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach, organised by New Tactics, took place from 27 January to 2 February 2010. The complete dialogue and a summary of the discussions are available at

The dialogue featured practitioners that have developed database systems to document human rights violations, organisations on the ground documenting violations, and those that are training practitioners on how to choose the right approach and system for their documentation. We looked at options for ways to collect, store and share your human rights data safely and effectively.

No less than 15 resource persons (including Daniel D’Esposito and Bert Verstappen from HURIDOCS) and various other participants discussed the range of methods that can be used to thoroughly document human rights violations, and utilize them to motivate a response. Participants shared a myriad of powerful examples from their own work, proving the importance and vast range of impact that documentation has.

Documentation is defined as a process of strategic and systematic gathering of quantitative or qualitative data. Once organised, this data can then be transferred to different types of software, such as Martus or OpenEvsys. Documentation in an organised fashion permits its contents to be easily shared and understood through a Metadata system. Metadata is a set of structured data or content types that characterize an information object and can be used to compile data from multiple databases.

Discussions also dealt with the kind of data that can be collected. The summary concludes with the discussion of quantitative vs. qualitative documentation and touches upon the emergence of economic, social, and cultural rights documentation.

Challenges for the future are listed, and links given to several relevant resources.


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