Human Rights

Documenting the Backlash: LGBTI Rights in Haiti

I recently returned from a weeklong training in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where I worked with our partner, Housing Works, to set up a nation-wide human rights documentation project using Martus, Benetech’s secure, open source documentation tool. The new initiative follows on the heels of a spate of homophobic violence experienced by the Haitian LGBTI community earlier this year. By the end of our training week, we graduated 20 new Martus Human Rights monitors representing 10 organizations working across the country with the goal of ensuring that no human rights violation motivated by homophobia, misogyny or stigma based on HIV status goes undocumented.

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A RAT in the Registry: The Case for Martus on Tails

Human rights groups face increasingly sophisticated attackers with the ability to exploit their growing digital surface. When a group documenting human rights abuses against the Tibetan community came to us last year with interest in Martus, they brought with them a deep mistrust of their own hard drives. Together we decided to use an implementation method that emphasized security at all stages and selected Tails to be the default environment for their use of Martus. The Martus-on-Tails model is an exciting new venture into human rights defenders’ protection. We look forward to exploring other models and developing this one into a more mature standard.

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Doing the Right Stuff Right for Human Rights

Earlier this month, on November 6th, jointly with Human Rights Watch and WITNESS, we celebrated Martus’ 10th Anniversary—ten years of secure human rights documentation by the Martus user community. The Martus story that has unfolded during that time is a tale of hard-won success and focused efforts to bridge human rights and technological innovation. As our panelists pointed out, technology offers great opportunities for the human rights movement but also creates enormous challenges. With more and more people participating in human rights documentation, it’s critical to get the tools and skills in their hands to do it safely, ethically and effectively.

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The Martus Project Celebrates Ten Years of Secure Human Rights Documentation

Palo Alto, California, November 6, 2013 — Benetech, Human Rights Watch and WITNESS celebrate today ten years of Benetech’s tool for secure human rights information management. Martus (Greek for “witness”) is an open source, free software application that allows users anywhere in the world to securely gather and organize information about human rights violations.

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Engineering for Change Blog Cites Gerardo Capiel on Coding for the Common Good

An Engineering for Change blog post about trends and takeaways from the third-annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) highlighted a keynote address by our VP of Engineering, Gerardo Capiel.

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