Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

Primary Goals for Collecting Information

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When gathering information from public sources, the first thing to ask is why am I doing this? Do you want to you to report this information to an international human rights body? Is your intention to publish a story in the local press? Do you want to send a letter to the government about the event/incident? Are you going to use this information to lobby on a matter of public policy? While these are only a few examples, as you can see there are many reasons you may have for collecting information on human rights violations. To help keep your research focused, take a minute to write down your own goals for collecting information.

For example, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center lists the following as its primary goals. When listing your goals, make sure they are clear, concise and give an accurate depiction of how you plan to use the information you collect