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Rights View - Microsoft and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Microsoft and the Office of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) have launched a five-year partnership. Microsoft will provide a grant of USD $5 million to support the work of the OHCHR. A particular area of focus will be the development and use of advanced technology designed to better predict, analyze and respond to critical human rights situations. One example is Rights View, an information dashboard powered by cloud computing and big data analysis. The system pulls data together to create a database of recorded human rights violations across countries. Analytics enable UN human rights workers to aggregate large quantities of internal and external data on specific countries and types of rights violations in real time. It will help facilitate analysis, ensure early warning of emerging critical issues and provide data to guide responses. Rights View will draw together internal data from across the various areas of the Office, external public data, as well as social media in order to promote action in relation to early warnings of human rights risks. The overall aim is to “provide a clear human rights perspective on potential, emerging or ongoing crises, and to get the appropriate responses to them by engaging other parts of the U.N. and the international community more broadly.” Rights View will help produce reports, talking points, briefings to bodies, and “short, pithy, visually compelling information to have a more immediate impact on the situation.” The tool will also help OHCHR to be more efficient at deploying its own staff to emergency situations and to more efficiently monitor, analyze and report on situations remotely.

Keywords: Protecting Safety and Security, Data analysis and visualization for human rights, Microsoft, Data collection and management for human rights, Office of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR), Rights View