Promoting the Rights of Victims in Under-Resourced Places by Using Science and Technology That Can be Used by Ordinary People, to Deal with Human Rights Violations: Bolstering the Right to the Truth

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Abstract

This article argues that while the right to the truth has come to the fore over the last few decades, victims around the world have not really felt its practical effect. It is argued that for the right to have real impact, human rights violations need to be documented and investigated, and the victims identified. This has, however, been limited in the past for a variety of reasons, including the inability to document violations to the extent needed. The article therefore considers how scientific and technological tools can help with this. It is argued that while the right to the truth has been assisted by the advent of DNA analysis, this tool is often not available in large parts of the world because of a lack of resources. Thus, it is argued that other types of techniques can, and must, be used to identify victims of human rights abuses. The article considers how ordinary people and NGOs can use a range of other tools, including a variety of apps and social media, to collect evidence of human rights violations, find people and fight impunity. The article also discusses why there ought therefore to be a greater reliance on open-source information and how it can be used to improve documentation and investigations of human rights violations. Examples that best embody the advantages and disadvantages of these scientific and technological tools are provided, as well as ideas on how to overcome the challenges they present.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLiverpool Law Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Human rights documentation
  • Human rights violations
  • Right to the truth
  • Science and technology
  • Victims

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