Geospatial tools have emerged as a powerful resource to document, analyze and display the geographic context, location and extent of human rights abuses. Geospatial data and high-resolution images are increasingly available. At the same time, the spread of geographic information systems and innovative approaches to mapping have a number of potential applications in the field of human rights. This panel will discuss lessons learned and prospects in the use of satellite imagery and other sources of geospatial data, including crowdsourcing, to advance human rights.
Patrick Vinck (Human Rights Center)
Sarah Van Wart (Geospatial Innovations Facility at UC Berkeley)
Nathaniel Raymond (Satellite Sentinel Project)
Audrey Banks (Satellite Sentinel Project)
Susan Wolfinbarger (AAAS)
Audrey Banks (Satellite Sentinel Project)
Nathaniel Raymond is the Director of Operations of Human Rights Documentation at the Satellite Sentinel Project.
Sarah Van Wart
Sarah Van Wart is a software application developer at UC Berkeley's Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF), specializing in making GIS data accessible and understandable to a broad variety of users. She is also one of the creators of Local Ground, a tool kit to help communities document their local, geospatial knowledge using bar-coded paper maps and a variety of open source and publicly available web APIs. Over the past year she has worked with the Center for Cities and Schools, local high school youth, local governments, and local NGOs in order to learn how GIS and participatory digital tools might be extended to foster even richer data collection and communication.
Sarah has a decade of experience writing web-based GIS software to support various of public sector programs in the U.S. in agriculture, transportation, environmental management, and community development, and has just completed her Master's Degree at the UC Berkeley School of Information.
Patrick Vinck directs the Initiative for Vulnerable Populations at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley. The Initiative conducts research in countries experiencing serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law to give a voice to survivors of mass violence.
An agricultural engineer who specializes in rural development, Vinck holds a PhD in International Development. He has worked and conducted research in Iraq, Rwanda, Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and other areas affected by armed conflict.
Susan Wolfinbarger is a Senior Program Associate for the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project. Her primary focus is support of cooperative initiatives with Amnesty International, USA. She aids in the conceptualization, development, and deployment of geospatial technologies and information for human rights-related issues. Although this is a new position for Susan (begun in July 2008), she originally joined AAAS as an intern on the project from 2006-2007. Susan holds an M.A. degree from the George Washington University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography at the Ohio State University.
Nathaniel Raymond, director of human rights documentation at the Satellite Sentinel Project, discusses civilian lifesaving capabilities with the emerging satellite imagery project. The project provides real-time surveillance of nations in conflict to help prevent war and genocide.
Rights that belong to an individual as a consequence of being human. The term came into wide use after World War II, replacing the earlier phrase natural rights, which had been associated with the Greco-Roman concept of natural law since the end of the Middle Ages. As understood today, human rights refer to a wide variety of values and capabilities reflecting the diversity of human circumstances and history. They are conceived of as universal, applying to all human beings everywhere, and as fundamental, referring to essential or basic human needs. Human rights have been classified historically in terms of the notion of three generations of human rights. The first generation of civil and political rights, associated with the Enlightenment and the English, American, and French revolutions, includes the rights to life and liberty and the rights to freedom of speech and worship. The second generation of economic, social, and cultural rights, associated with revolts against the predations of unregulated capitalism from the mid-19th century, includes the right to work and the right to an education. Finally, the third generation of solidarity rights, associated with the political and economic aspirations of developing and newly decolonized countries after World War II, includes the collective rights to political self-determination and economic development. Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, many treaties and agreements for the protection of human rights have been concluded through the auspices of the United Nations, and several regional systems of human rights law have been established. In the late 20th century ad hoc international criminal tribunals were convened to prosecute serious human rights violations and other crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The International Criminal Court, which came into existence in 2002, is empowered to prosecute crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, and war crimes.
Smokescreen. This poor deluded scientist thinks he's designing technology to aid humans. If we're seeing this technology now, the military is already fading it out as obsolete. Yikes!This could eventually be used against United States citizens.
The Satellite Sentinel Project is indeed a fantastic tool to "alert the world to abuses". But who will decide what an "abuse" is ? Will it be possible to "alert the world" to the abuses, of, say, a gold mining plant on the rice fields of Ghana, or of an oil rig spill on the Gulf of Mexico, or of a police force against the people of a free country protesting peacefully in the streets of Madrid, Spain ?... If anybody can freely and democratically use this tool, then yes, that's a wonderful progress indeed for peace an protection of the weak and, ultimately, justice and liberty for all.