Resources for Information Management and Preservation Online course on human rights documentation

Totem is offering a free online course  on human rights documentation where you will learn about the common stages of a documentation effort, what important considerations you will need to think about along the way, and what can be achieved with community-led human rights documentation.

There are many paths to achieving the goals of a community that has been affected by human rights violations. Human rights documentation is a way of capturing, preserving, and sharing stories of human rights abuses to seek redress for the harm, hold perpetrators of abuse accountable and secure the collective memories of the past for the present and future. By using effective documentation, your community can take care of their narratives and pursue these goals.

Totem is an online platform that offers interactive courses to learn how to increase digital security and privacy. The aim is to support journalists, human rights defenders and activists use privacy tools and tactics more effectively in their work.

The content for the course was created with the help of experts, trainers and online education experts from several organisations who collaborated during a workshop to co-create this Totem course. The content team includes members from HURIDOCS, WITNESS and Horizontal.

View the course brochure below:

PDF in English

In this course, the word ‘documentation’ refers to knowing, getting, organising, preserving, understanding and using information to achieve your community’s goals. Documentation is a purposeful, well-planned, and ongoing act and process which centres our communities and uses technologies well. Effective human rights movements require documentation.

Community-led human rights documentation is an act of solidarity and care. It aims to do no harm as it prioritises people over data. As a result, this course is for members of communities who want to or have already started documenting human rights abuses.

The course tackles the following steps of human rights documentation:

  • Module 1: Determine the information you need
  • Module 2: Get the information
  • Module 3: Preserve the information
  • Module 4: Understand the information you have
  • Module 5: Use of the information

For more information, read our blog post or visit the course page on the Totem website.