Statistics and Human Rights

“Statistics is central to the modern perspective on human rights. It allows researchers to measure the effect of health care policies, the penetration of educational opportunity, and progress towards gender equality. The new wave of entrepreneurial charities demands impact assessments and documentation of milestone achievement. Non-governmental organizations need statistics to build cases, conduct surveys, and target their efforts.” 

“The realization of human rights,” according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, “correlates with the availability of sound official statistics. Statisticians play a critical role in supporting evidence-based policy and measuring civil, economic, political and social rights.”

“The CIRI Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 202 countries, annually from 1981-2011. It is designed for use by scholars and students who seek to test theories about the causes and consequences of human rights violations, as well as policy makers and analysts who seek to estimate the human rights effects of a wide variety of institutional changes and public policies including democratization, economic aid, military aid, structural adjustment, and humanitarian intervention. This dataset contains the last version of the CIRI dataset, along with supporting documentation.” Professors David Cingranelli and David Richards cofounded CIRI.