Open source monitoring of human rights violations is an innovative approach that uses technology to gather, sort and analyse data from publicly available sources, including social media, video and image-sharing websites, mapping tools and satellite imagery.
These sources may be useful for teams of co-operating human rights defenders including journalists, lawyers, bloggers, activists, weapons experts, researchers, IT technology experts or other concerned people with an interest in advancing human rights.
Knowing how to collect and verify data, and then being able to analyze and cross-check it with information gathered in the field, is what you can learn on this page.
Still not sure how OSINT works?
In the video below you will see how BBC – Africa Eye used open source technologies to investigate the killing of two women and two children in Cameroon, after the video of this atrocity started circulating in 2018. Identifying where and when it happened and who was responsible for it was possible thanks to OSINT techniques.
WARNING: this video contains disturbing content, viewer discretion is advised.
Another example of the use of open source investigations for human rights defenders in the video below.
Tools for OSINT
Exposing the Invisible
Through a series of short films, video interviews, guides and resources, Exposing the Invisible looks at different techniques, tools and methods along with the individual practices of those working at the new frontiers of investigation.
Access the Kit here
Bellingcat’s Online Investigation Toolkit
Bellingcat’s freely available online open-source investigation toolkit includes satellite and mapping services, tools for verifying photos and videos, websites to archive web pages, and much more. There are guides at the end of the document, highlighting the methods and use of these tools in more detail.
Click here to access the Toolkit