One of the challenges for human rights and social justice groups working internationally and around Pakistan is gathering of large amount of information yet these groups often lack the technologies or know how to document human rights violations information systematically and securely. Much of the information at times serious human rights abuses by the state and various elements are documented in insecure formats that prevent it from being effectively shared; worse critical sensitive information is often lost to viruses, computer theft or migration of data, theft, neglect and staff turnover.
Lost information is a problem with far-reaching implications. Social justice organizations know that timely, accurate data distribution is one of their most powerful weapons against human rights violations. NGOs gather information to draw attention to the circumstances of victims, pressure perpetrators and encourage judicial accountability. They also use field data to focus media attention and help deliver justice in the form of truth commissions and tribunals. Without the collection and use of such information, human rights campaigns have limited chance of success.
To change this outcome, advocates and human rights fieldworkers urgently needed a way to securely gather and store sensitive data—one that could also help them review and share their information as needed. Unfortunately, businesses weren’t pursuing a solution to this issue because the technical work would require significant capital without generating significant profit. The Human Rights Program at iPOP aims to harness the power of technology using open source technology to meet this pressing need. Today, the technology and training iPOP aim to provide keeps human rights defenders safe and have become critically important in larger efforts to pursue reform, seek justice and begin the process of reconciliation.
At iPOP, we believe that every abuse of human rights should be documented for using latest technologies and the power of Internet so that the victims or the family and community of the victims can eventually find peace. To us, every story matters because every story is a tool for justice.