Human Rights Project: Amnesty International

Interested in participating in an exciting human rights pilot project with Amnesty International this semester? 

We have partnered with a handful of professors at other universities and Amnesty International (USA) to launch the Citizen Media Evidence Partnership (CMEP) Program. Through CMEP, trained students evaluate still and video images posted on social media sites like Instagram and YouTube in support future human rights prosecutions. Students examine the videos and images to authenticate the content and build a body of evidence of human rights violations. We ask that participants volunteer between 5-15 hours per week. No background in human rights is necessary – you will be taught all that you need to know! Please read below for more information about the project, an example of the kind of work you’d be doing, and links to some useful background reading.

If you are interested in participating, please email Anita Ravishankar at anitarav@umich.edu with “CMEP” in the subject line. We are planning to have our kick off meeting next week, so please get in touch as soon as possible!  Read below for more information. 

The Citizen Media Evidence Partnership (C-MEP) is project designed to filter and process human rights-related citizen videos. After providing a basic training in video validation and International Humanitarian Law to participating students and/or faculty, we envision a three-step process for participants to follow.

-Collection/Filtering/Cataloging of relevant videos

-Contextualization or validation of videos

-Processing (for internal documentation or publication)

Videos should be systematically collected and cataloged in a database, with use of a general database.

Challenges: Some material will be highly graphic, and very disturbing to most. Those who face challenges emotionally processing highly graphic imagery, or those easily disturbed by scenes of intense violence should consider a later project with differing human rights violation content.

Roles and Responsibilities: Amnesty International staff have worked with a team at Florida State University and with a pilot group at the University of Michigan over the past two years to develop a set of training materials that will introduce participants to current methodologies for validating video content using a wide range of tools. You can read more about the project here: willopines.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/introducing-the-citizen-media-evidence-partnership-c-mep/

Illustrative example of what you will be doing:

 

http://blog.witness.org/2014/01/verifying-citizen-video-aleppo-case-study-part-1/

http://blog.witness.org/2014/01/verifying-citizen-video-aleppo-case-study-part-2/

http://blog.witness.org/2014/01/verifying-citizen-video-case-study-aleppo-part-3-geo-locating-video/

 

 

Background Reading:
Bair, Madeleine: Is it Authentic? When Citizens and Soldiers Document War. November 20, 2012. http://blog.witness.org/2012/11/is-it-authentic-when-citizens-and-soldiers-document-war/

Sheridan, Gavin: Storyful tips and tools: Locating videos on a map. September 25, 2012.
http://blog.storyful.com/2012/09/25/storyful-tips-and-tools-locating-videos-on-a-map/#.Ujd54sakpCY

Hodson, Hal: Multi-shot video can identify civil rights abusers. New Scientist, 28 June 2013.http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829236.100-multishot-video-can-identify-civil-rights-abusers.html#.UjeEWMakpCY

Koettl, Christoph: Can Video Document Possible War Crimes In Syria? January 8, 2013. http://blog.witness.org/2013/01/video-war-crimes-in-syria/

Koettl, Christoph: Twitter to the Rescue? How Social Media is Transforming Human Rights Monitoring. February 20, 2013.http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/twitter-to-the-rescue-how-social-media-is-transforming-human-rights-monitoring/

The Process Of Video Verification – Rabaa, Egypt, August 14th 2013. Brown Moses Blog, August 15, 2013.
http://brown-moses.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-process-of-video-verification-rabaa.html

7 Fake Hurricane Sandy Photos You’re Sharing on Social Media
http://mashable.com/2012/10/29/fake-hurricane-sandy-photos/

IHL Factsheet
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/legal-fact-sheet/humanitarian-law-factsheet.htm

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