Challenges and Opportunties in Collaborations Across Technologies

Today, scores of commercial high-resolution satellites are available to human rights organizations.  Additionally, social media and other digital platforms sometimes offer information that help investigators understand an event. And forensic science organizations now have access to sequencing technology that undermine efforts to thwart the identification of remains, such as the disassociation of remains by exhumation and reburial. What are the opportunities and challenges associated with the “digitization” of human rights investigations? 


  • Thomas Parsons, Director of Science and Technology, International Commission for Missing Persons
  • Isaac Baker, Imagery Analysis Manager for the Signal Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard University
  • Jos Berens, Project Design & Delivery, Data Responsibility, Humanity X & coordinator of the Data Governance Working Group at NYU GovLab and Leiden University’s Peace Informatics Lab, Centre for Innovation
  • Jonathan Drake, Senior Program Associate with the Geospatial Technologies Project, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Moderator/discussant: Josh Lyons, Satellite Imagery Analyst, Human Rights Watch

Baker, Parsons and Lyons discuss the opportunities and challenges of new technologies for human rights.