A Paradigm Shift: Detecting Human Rights Violations Through Web Images

Grigorios Kalliatakis, Shoaib Ehsan, Klaus D. McDonald-Maier

The growing presence of devices carrying digital cameras, such as mobile phones and tablets, combined with ever improving internet networks have enabled ordinary citizens, victims of human rights abuse, and participants in armed conflicts, protests, and disaster situations to capture and share via social media networks images and videos of specific events. This paper discusses the potential of images in human rights context including the opportunities and challenges they present. This study demonstrates that real-world images have the capacity to contribute complementary data to operational human rights monitoring efforts when combined with novel computer vision approaches. The analysis is concluded by arguing that if images are to be used effectively to detect and identify human rights violations by rights advocates, greater attention to gathering task-specific visual concepts from large-scale web images is required.

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