ICAAD, an NGO dedicated to mapping discrimination globally using the UPR mechanism, is undertaking a pilot initiative with its partners to use the latest techniques in automated information extraction from unstructured sources to monitor implementation and promote accountability within the UPR system. Better implementation of UPR recommendations, encouraged by increased monitoring, will improve human rights accountability. Therefore, ICAAD and its partners will undertake a study focusing on discrimination against girls and women in the Pacific region, with an initial pilot focused on Fiji.
Data-analysis experts from CKM Advisors and Data Pop Alliance will define specific indicators on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) that can be measured using case law reports and then to track these indicators over time. Global Insight will provide gender-mainstreaming tools and advise on the selection of the indicators.
CKM Advisors will also develop a case classifier algorithm that will enable the retrieval of sexual assault and domestic violence cases from 13,000+ Fijian legal cases hosted on PacLII. By extracting and structuring information through semantic analysis, text mining, and machine learning, CKM will be able to perform descriptive statistical analysis and develop relevant indicators that allow for the evaluation of the state of SGBV in Fiji. Examples of extracted information include citations of legal documents, age of the victim, charges, specific court, name of the judge, and more. The refinement of the algorithms will be performed through an iterative process of both applying the technology and manually validating the results with the help of law experts. Successful algorithms will be integrated into ICAADs case management system.
With its partners, ICAAD will also assess the evolution of SGBV in Fiji and track the enforcement by judges of relevant legislation. Those findings will be used to advocate for specific actions that the State can undertake to improve legal outcomes for women who have been victims of SGBV.
Global Insight will consult throughout the entirety of this project, employing their research and field expertise to assist in undertaking a comprehensive literature review and co-drafting of an Academic Paper that discusses the results of the project. The findings will then be presented at relevant workshops and seminars.
a) Gain access to Fijian case law dataset
b) Identify gaps in datasets
c) Define output of the data analytics
d) Develop approach/ methodology
a) Develop algorithms for the case law dataset: case classifier and data extraction
b) Iteratively apply, validate, and refine algorithms
c) Build a structured database populated with data extracted from case law dataset
a) Analyze structured data and gain insights on the status of SGBV in Fiji that will help for future advocacy
b) Evaluate the feasibility of scaling up to other PICs with respect to using algorithms (e.g. distinguishing between sexual assault and domestic violence cases)
a) Complete Academic Paper
b) Present findings to relevant workshops and seminars
b) Scale up to other PICs as resources and feasibility allow
The United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism monitors human rights violations globally through an ongoing peer review process that engages 193 UN Member States. The process results in recommendations that are either accepted or noted by the State under review. By accepting certain recommendations, the State creates a binding obligation to improve upon their current human rights situation.
Currently, one of the biggest gaps in the UN system is the ability to monitor whether a specific recommendation is being implemented within the country. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, stated that the UPR has great potential to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world. However, monitoring the accountability of States actions is essential to encouraging the global progress of human rights.
In an effort to improve States accountability with respect to access to justice for girls and women, ICAAD has initiated a collaboration with data scientists (CKM Advisors), big data experts (Data-Pop, a Harvard, MIT, and ODI Collaboration), and gender specialists (Global Insight) to develop a methodology that will improve monitoring of access to justice for women. This methodology will use text mining, semantic analysis, and machine learning on sexual assault and domestic violence cases to determine whether courts are effectively implementing domestic violence legislation and adhering to international human rights principles when deciding sentences for perpetrators.
Governments in the Pacific are prioritizing monitoring new domestic violence legislation in the Pacific Island region. However, there are very few innovative ways to track its progress and impact. ICAADs initiative successfully looks at legislation over time and the emphasis judges place on relying on specific legislation. Moreover, they are able to track specific elements within domestic violence legislation, such as protective orders. This tool would prove valuable for any nation looking to find automated evidence based solutions to monitor impact of legislation. Resources are needed to scale this initiative to other Pacific Island Countries.
ICAAD offers technical expertise, evidence-based research, rule of law training, and programming on international human rights, most specifically, in the area of structural discrimination against women and minorities, data collection of legal and health system failures, and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). ICAAD has developed a wide network of interdisciplinary partners working on human rights, including law firms, universities, artists, and technologists, and can connect partners with relevant organizations.