This month, Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) launched a new collaboration with the Human Rights Program at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico. Universidad Iberoamericana joins the award-winning programme as the seventh DVC partner – alongside the University of Hong Kong; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Toronto; the University of Cambridge; the University of Essex; and the University of Pretoria.
“We’re delighted to have a Latin American university join our Digital Verification Corps and we look forward to empowering more Latin American students and volunteers to work on cutting-edge initiatives of this kind to defend human rights in the region,” said Carolina Jiménez, deputy director of research for the Americas at Amnesty International.
Universidad Iberoamericana’s interdisciplinary human rights programme has been committed to promoting justice and the defence of human rights across Mexico since the programme’s inception in 1998. Ibero has recruited more than 15 students from a variety of disciplines to participate in the DVC’s inaugural year. These students are receiving training from Amnesty’s experts in open source investigation methods, as well as graduates of the DVC programme at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center. This training allows the participants to verify the authenticity, location, and time of videos and photographs posted on social media, as well as mental health resiliency training. Once trained, student volunteers will apply these cutting-edge skills as digital volunteers, directly supporting Amnesty’s research teams working to monitor and report on human rights violations globally.
Felipe Sánchez-Nájera, the faculty lead from the human rights program at Universidad Iberoamericana said that: ‘Alliances such as Ibero with Amnesty International within the ‘Digital Verification Corps’ (DVC) project are essential for Ibero’s formational and educational objectives. Thanks to this initiative, students will have the opportunity to train themselves in open source investigation which will contribute to their human and professional training as human rights defenders and researchers in a context in which information, thanks to social networks, is generated in real-time by millions of users and therefore needs to be verified.’
The DVC was established in 2016 to help train the next generation of human rights researchers in the tools and skills needed to take advantage of the overwhelming amount of digital content that exists in the world today. In November 2019, the DVC won the Times Higher Education Award for International Collaboration of the Year. We are delighted to welcome the Human Rights Programme at Universidad Iberoamericana into the DVC network.