HRDAG’s rigorous methods and analyses also ensure that every death is counted, and a minimum standard of human dignity is respected. The HRDAG team consists of a small group of dedicated experts in computer science, software development, mathematical and applied statistics, and demography. In their work, HRDAG partner with human rights defenders, experts, and organizations worldwide.
Holding perpetrators to account
Based on the idea that “truth leads to accountability”, HRDAG provides thorough documentation of torture, forced disappearances, kidnappings, war crimes and extrajudicial killings. Perpetrators of human rights abuses often do everything they can to hide their crimes from the public, while victims and their families seek answers and justice.
For example, in collaboration with Amnesty International, HRDAG has documented that 25 % of the deaths in Syrian prisons were unreported. Their researchers have been expert witnesses in the trial of General José Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala, who was convicted as the chief perpetrator of genocide against the Maya Ixil indigenous people. They have provided evidence of unusually high death tolls among political prisoners under the rule of former President Hissène Habré in Chad, as well as evidence of ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbian forces and former President Slobodan Milošević in Kosovo.
HRDAG has recently launched a project on underreporting police violence in the United States, where their analysis show that one third of all victims murdered by strangers, are killed by the police.