Technologies have revolutionized the process of documenting, analyzing and communicating about human rights. But major innovations remain in the hands of those who are technology-savvy, and the challenge of making them accessible remains. This panel is rooted in the theory of diffusion and innovation to examine how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread in the field of human rights, and what can be done to increase early adoption of new technologies by activists around the world.
Phuong Pham (Human Rights Center)
Stephen Humphreys (London School of Economics)
Sasha Costanza-Chock (University of Southern California)
Olga Werby (UCLA Law Forum)
Sasha Costanza-Chock is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Costanza-Chock is also a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Stephen Humphreys holds a PhD in law from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in comparative and international law from SOAS, University of London. Prior to joining the LSE in 2009, he was Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy in Geneva, where his research focused on environmental law and on privacy and surveillance. He previously acted as publications director for the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York, and before that oversaw a project monitoring minority rights and discrimination in ten EU accession countries for the Open Society Institute in Budapest. He conducted research on climate change and the Kyoto mechanisms with ENDA Tiers Monde in Dakar, Senegal.
Phuong Pham is Director of Research at the Human Rights Center and Adjunct Associate Professor at Tulane University's Payson Center for International Development.
She completed a survey on trauma, PSTD, justice, and reconciliation as part of the Human Rights Center's project, "Communities in Crisis: Justice, Accountability and Social Reconstruction in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia." She is a founding member of the Initiative on Vulnerable Populations and conducts research in northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, and other areas affected by mass violence.
Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. She conceived, designed, and illustrated the award-winning "Field Trips" series of programs distributed by Sunburst Communications. Werby has a B.A. degree in Mathematics
Werby currently teaches interaction design and cognitive theory at the American University in Paris and the University of California at Berkeley Extension Program. She was part of the faculty of San Francisco State University's Multimedia Studies Program, the Bay Area Video Coalition, and the campus of Apple Computers. Werby is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. She also holds a California teaching credential and is part of the San Francisco Unified School District where she often tests science-related curriculum materials in public elementary and middle schools.
Stephen Humphreys, researcher at the London School of Economics, and Sasha Costanza-Chock, researcher at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School, discuss the right to communicate. "Focusing on communication as a human right is an important thing," says Costanza-Chock.
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.