The prevention and early response to serious crimes and gross violations of human rights requires early warning. Technological progresses in satellite imagery and mobile data collection, among others, have made the process of collecting and analyzing large amount of data from multiple sources a new reality. This panel will explore lessons learned that have emerged in detecting and preventing human rights violations.
Scott Edwards (Amnesty International/American University)
Michael Poffenberger (RESOLVE)
Philip Kollie (West Africa Network for Peacebuilding WANEP-Liberia)
Scott Edwards is an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer
in the School of International Service at American University.
Dr. Scott Edwards is Project Manager for the Science for Human Rights project at Amnesty International, USA (AIUSA). His dissertation, "A Composite Theory and Practical Model of Forced Displacement," advances a computational model of flight for purposes of forecasting humanitarian crises, and current research activity focuses on early warning/risk assessment models. Prior to his current post, Scott served as AIUSA's Country Specialist on Sudan from 2003-2008.
Edwards holds a PhD and MA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his BS and BA from Florida State University.
Wilfred Gray-Johnson is the Director of the Liberia Peacebuilding Office -- Liberia Peacebuilding Fund.
Nate Haken is a Senior Associate at the Fund for Peace. He works on the Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) in order to improve the ability of analysts and policy makers to forecast conflict in weak and failing states. He also works on projects aimed at the development of a multinational and multi-agency framework for evaluation of efforts in conflict and post-conflict environments and is contributing to efforts at creating holistic training tools for the civilian and military classroom. He is a leading researcher on the design of CAST and on a research project focused on ways to better predict conflict using content analysis.
He has published a paper on Economic Reform in Weak States for the FfP's Globalization and Human Rights Series and coauthored an article with Joelle Burbank on the use of content analysis in predicting the outbreak of internal conflict.
Haken is working on UNLocK (Universal Network of Local Knowledge), a project that seeks to improve early warning of conflict by working with local civil society groups in Liberia and Uganda to improve local conflict assessment capacity. In the course of this project, he helped to coordinate two workshops in Uganda and one in Liberia with local civil society and to develop a tool to increase communications between local NGOs and international NGOs working on conflict early warning.
Before joining the Fund, Mr. Haken worked as a television producer at the Voice of America as well as a newspaper reporter in Illinois. Born and raised in Africa, he also has worked as a French interpreter for refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. He earned his MA in international communication at American University's School of International Service.
Philip M. Kollie is a social worker and a peacebuilding practitioner working as the Program Coordinator of the Crisis Management Program at the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Liberia). WANEP is a non-governmental organisation involved in conflict resolution, peace-building and research-interventions. Kollie's experience ranges from providing trainings for community youth, ex-combatants, students, teachers and community dwellers in rural Liberia in conflict resolution, management/mediation, non-violence, and communication. Kollie holds a BA in Mass Communication from the University of Liberia.
Michael Poffenberger is co-founder & executive director of RESOLVE. Poffenberger leads the organization's programs, develops its strategic vision, and works to enhance collaboration with key partners. His work has been featured in a number of media outlets, including the Washington Post, National Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. Poffenberger serves on the Board of Directors for the Grassroots Reconciliation Group and the Advisory Board of Athletes for Africa. Prior to co-founding Resolve in 2006, he worked as Associate Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network and at the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame.
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.