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Human Rights Lab

The Human Rights Lab is a research and experiential learning project for undergraduate students. The lab provides opportunities for students to engage in policy-relevant research associated with the investigation of human rights violations, and the development of specific career-related skills. These skills may include database construction and management, data visualization, geographic information systems, and open source research.

The Lab empowers students to pursue and bring justice into our world. They use technology and satellite imagery to investigate crimes against humanity and other crimes of international concern. They have already had an impact by filing two Article 15 submissions with the International Criminal Court to help bring people and organizations to that court of law. Recent work has focused on genocide in Myanmar, crimes in Venezuela, oil smuggling and UN arms embargo violations in Libya, and gender-based violence associated with private military corporations around the world. Pictured here is a map created of the AIS transponder data for ships suspected of smuggling Libyan oil. You can learn more about the Lab's work here

James Madison College Prof. Robert Brathwaite and 15 -20 undergraduate students at MSU run the Human Rights Lab, even during COVID-19. Your gifts help the lab acquire the materials they need to assist in human rights investigations. Donations support the purchase of satellite imagery, ship transponder data and training resources for students.

Satellite image depicts the burning of villages and homes, a sign of genocide in Myanmar In addition to working for justice, these experiences increase the skills and academic enrichment of students by providing unique educational and professional opportunities. Some students from the Lab have secured internships at the International Criminal Court. More importantly, this project provides undergraduate students an opportunity to harness rigorous academic research to produce policy-relevant information and engagement with public affairs. (Photo: Visible infrared imaging depicts the burning of villages and homes in Myanmar, a sign of genocide.) 

The information produced by this project is sent to organizations investigating human rights violations, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), UN Panel of Experts, and other relevant actors. In fact, the Lab’s work from Spring 2019 led to two Article 15 submissions to the ICC pertaining to Myanmar and Venezuela. This included a submission to the ICC to protect Rohingya Muslims against violence in Myanmar, formerly Burma. More recently, the Lab has assisted in investigations involving the conflict in Libya by providing remote sensing analysis for a legal filing in Switzerland.

Help expand and enhance the work of Human Rights Lab by making a gift today! 

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 22OOPCF1JMCHRL” in the note section.

CARES Act

Remember the CARES Act has been extended for calendar year 2021 allowing taxpayers to take a charitable deduction of up to $300/$600 for those who take the standard deduction. As always, please consult your tax advisor/attorney for advice on your specific situation.

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