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Saving Our Cultural Heritage: Combating Illicit Excavation and Trade in Antiquities – Al Masir International Center for Studies Research and Training

The depletion and destruction of Jordan's irreplaceable cultural heritage by illegal excavations and trade in antiquities has reached an alarming level. This loss is costing the Jordanian people their right to access, enjoy, and participate in their cultural heritage. Culture is fundamental to human dignity and identity. Based in Irbid, Al Masir International Center for Studies Research and Training (Al Masir Center) focused on the legal, social and political circumstances that enable and explain the depletion and destruction of Jordan’s antiquities. As a result, Al Masir Center’s advocacy, Saving Our Cultural Heritage, promoted the preservation of the right to cultural heritage through recommended amendments to the Antiquities Law No. 21 of 1988 and national artifacts inventory and documentation system for museums, for decision makers. These two critical areas can significantly combat the threats posed by the looting and loss of cultural property.

Machine Learning and Human Rights: How to Maximize the Impact and Minimize the Risk

Summary Available
Technology is rapidly changing the world around us, offering new ways for human rights defenders to use new tools to their advantage - machine learning is one of them.

Machine learning is a powerful tool that offers tremendous opportunities in the field of human rights. Machine learning can help us detect patterns of corruption to support advocacy, predict poverty to support policy change, and analyzing evidence of human rights violations for transitional justice. However, with these opportunities that machine learning provides, the same technology also raises significant human rights concerns. Algorithmic biases have the potential to completely change the lives of individuals, as well as reinforce and even accelerate existing social and economic inequalities: flawed facial recognition systems, misclassification of videos documenting war crimes as terrorist propaganda, and racist chatbots.

Our goal as human rights defenders is to distinguish between beneficial machine learning systems from harmful automated decision-making processes in order to minimize the risks and maximize the impact of new technologies in human rights work. A few good practices discussed include: fair and transparent machine learning algorithms, and close collaboration and open conversation with experts from these different fields.

Measuring Success of Advocacy Initiatives I

 

Measuring Success of Advocacy Initiatives

The Center for Victims of Torture’s New Tactics in Human Rights program is working to create a flexible methodology for measuring success in advocacy campaigns. Because of your important work in funding advocacy initiatives, we would like your input early on in the process. We will be asking you about examples and stories that you have from your own work. The following are the kind of questions we will be asking:

Creating a fake wedding company and exhibit booth to highlight issues surrounding celebratory gunfire

To combat the use of gun shows at weddings, the Permanent Peace Movement created a fake service company called "Eleguns" to be exhibited at the largest wedding fair in Beirut, Lebanon. The purpose of Eleguns is to create awareness on the lethality and illegality of having such celebratory gunfire.

Empowering Communities for Improving Delivery of Short and Long-term Humanitarian Aid

Summary Available
Following natural disasters or humanitarian crises, aid organization and well-meaning volunteers rush to the help of hurting communities. The large influx of people trying to deliver aid in a struggling region poses coordination and logistical challenges that make it difficult to effectively deliver aid in a comprehensive way. Furthermore, rural communities who bear the hardships of humanitarian crisis the most, often go overlooked or are physically located in areas that make aid delivery challenging. This conversation discusses obstacles to effective aid delivery and seeks to explore the ways NGOs have gone about improving the delivery of short and long-term aid.

Climate Justice: Embracing a Just Transition

Summary Available
The environment, development, and inequality have always been linked—for years, industrialization has contributed to rising levels of carbon dioxide and environmental damages that have caused inequality and hardship across societal and racial lines. Now, with the emergence of green technology, the potential for revolutionary changes in the energy sector have the capacity to not only heal environmental wounds but also promote social justice. When considering environmental sustainability, two central considerations emerge. One is the mitigation of environmental disasters that are caused by mankind. Another is the implementation of these strategies in a way that uplifts individuals and communities rather than contributing to injustice. In this conversation, experts examine the interplay of development, the environment, and justice as they explore how environmental solutions can further human rights.

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