The Work

The Human Rights Investigations Lab is training UC Berkeley students in cutting-edge, open source research methods to tackle specific, well-defined human rights and public health problems. Berkeley students are receiving training from world-class open source intelligence experts and conducting supervised research into suspected human rights violations and public health challenges with an eye toward impact and accountability.

Our cohorts of Human Rights Investigations Lab Interns have included:

  • Fall 201642 registered students, from 14 majors, collectively speaking 16 languages
  • Spring 2016: 57 registered students, from 24 majors, collectively speaking 20 languages
  • Spring 201762 registered students who collectively speak more than 20 languages and come from 25 different majors and minors. 
  • Fall 201753 registered students, from 19 majors, collectively speaking 26 languages
  • Spring 2018: 82 registered students, from 22 majors, collectively speaking more than 30 languages

Students learn how to conduct the painstaking work of authenticating hundreds of hours of video footage and photographs of human rights abuses and war crimes from conflict zones in more than a dozen countries—including Syria, Myanmar, Egypt, Iraq, and the United States. Students also use open source methods to gather evidence of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for national and international criminal courts. They have also undergone “resiliency” training to learn how to respond to the stressful work of remote human rights investigations.

To see the impact of what our teams do, please go to the Lab Projects page.