Our Impact

Benetech and Human Rights

Over the years, Benetech has provided human rights organizations with purpose built software, as well as technology training and research. Explore some of our past projects: 

JusticeAI Ethical Artificial Intelligence for Human Rights Defenders

Smartphones and other digital technology has enabled more and more people to bear witness to their own history, testifying digitally against the perpetrators of human rights violations and war crimes. This is empowering, but it also creates new challenges that civil society organizations must overcome. How do they store the data safely and responsibly? How do you build cases, when you have more footage than any person could ever review in their lifetime?

Benetech sought to solve these problems using AI for good. To support the United Nations’ International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) on Syrian accountability along with an array of Syrian civil society organizations use of the estimated 4 million videos related to the conflict as evidence, Benetech built JusticeAI. The platform, purpose-built for human rights investigators, applies machine learning and computer vision to review videos and help CSOs analyze, manage and collaborate on the immense quantity of video evidence. Learn more.

Martus – Secure Human Rights Documentation 

Benetech created Martus, to fill a need in the human rights community for secure collection and storage of human rights data. Martus was used by human rights defenders in over 50 countries, including secure data collection for over 245,000 documented cases of human rights abuses. Our Martus software was used to document rights abuses against LGBTQ individuals in Uganda and preserve evidence of human rights violations perpetrated during the Guatemalan civil war. 

Exploring Technology in Human Rights (video + worksheet) 

In partnership with Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights, Benetech developed resources to help human rights organizations explore new technology solutions. The introductory video and accompanying worksheets invite human rights organizations to consider key questions as they evaluate new solutions and begin their technology journey. 

Digital Security Training Game 

Learning best practices in any profession can take years, but for human rights defenders, following them can have life or death consequences. There are many precautions that Human Rights Defenders must take to protect themselves and the people with whom they work. In collaboration with OSCE ODIHR, Benetech built a narrative adventure game that introduces the basics of human rights monitoring and security concepts as the player uncovers mounting evidence of wide-reaching human rights violations.