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A wide variety of papers and documents, peer-reviewed and otherwise, have been published over the years which provide important demonstations of and insights to the use of geospatial technologies. Some of the papers relate directly to the use of such technologies within human rights activities, and some represent potential future applications and enhancements.

The Ethiopian occupation of the border region of Eritrea
The countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea ? located on the Horn of Africa – fought a two-year war beginning on May 6, 1998, and ending with a peace agreement signed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on December 12, 2000. The conflict is estimated to have cost tens of thousands of lives and displaced as many as 650,000 people on both sides of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. The peace agreement set up commissions to establish the border between the two countries (a formal border had never been set following the independence of Eritrea in 1993), exchange (more)

The Geography of Armed Civil Conflict
The purpose of my doctoral project is to improve the study of civil war by including certain geographic and military aspects in a systematic, quantitative fashion. I aim to answer questions like these: To what extent are geographic factors like topography, natural resources, climate and conflict location key determinants of course and outcome of internal conflicts? How do geographic elements interact with military attributes of the warring parties?

The geography of economic-development and racial-discrimination in Brazil
This study investigates the relationship between unequal resource and population distribution and racial wage inequality in Brazil. Using sample data from the 1980 Brazilian census, monthly wages were estimated for white and Afro-Brazilian men working in nine metropolitan areas. Estimates showed that racial disparities in wages existed across all regional labour markets. Regression-based decomposition analysis found that a substantial portion of the racial wage gap was due to discrimination (unequal pay), while estimates of the magnitude of labour market discrimination indicated considerable variation by geographical area. Discrimination was higher in the predominantly white and highly developed areas of the South (more)

The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps
In 2003 the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) published a study titled, “The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps”. The report provides an in-depth and well-researched look at a number of penal institutions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that have been reported to exhibit extreme examples of human rights violations. This includes the internment of political prisoners and their families for forced labor in mining, logging, farming and industrial enterprises. Abuse, starvation, and forced abortions are among other crimes reportedly associated with such camps. Annotated satellite images are included as part of (more)

The Role of Geographic Scale in Monitoring Environmental Justice
Utilizing the concept of environmental justice, this paper examines the differential burdens of toxic and hazardous waste facilities locations in low income minority communities. The association between the presence of facilities and socioeconomic characteristics of places are examined for the state of South Carolina at three different spatial scales: counties, census tracts, and census block groups. Three different types of hazardous waste/toxic facilities are also examined: Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites, Treatment, Storage, and Disposal sites (TSD), and inactive hazardous waste sites. At the county level, there was some association between the presence of toxic/hazardous waste facilities and race and (more)

Toward Environmental Justice: Spatial Equity in Ohio and Cleveland
A growing body of research documents the inequitable impact of environmental hazards on poor and minority communities. This paper uses the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory for 1987?1990 and the 1990 Census of Population and Housing to analyze the spatial distribution of toxic industrial pollution and demographic groups in Ohio. In apparent support of the previous body of research, we report high correlations between racial variables and level of toxic release at the county level. The highest levels of toxic release in Ohio occur in the state’s most urban counties, fourteen of which contain approximately 90 percent (more)

Towards a Human Rights Observing System
Developments within the remote sensing and geospatial technologies fields have enabled human rights organizations more effectively to investigate, monitor and contest atrocities and other human rights violations around the world. Notably, the establishment of a constellation of high-resolution observation platforms are allowing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the ability to detect and respond to human rights violations as never before. Properly equipped, NGOs can complement formal responses from national governments and international bodies to the full range of human rights violations.

Unequal Exposure to Ecological Hazards: Environmental Injustices in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
This study analyzes the social and geographic distribution of ecological hazards across 368 communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Combining census data with a variety of environmental data, we tested for and identified both income-based and racially based biases to the geographic distribution of 17 different types of environmentally hazardous sites and industrial facilities. We also developed a composite measure of cumulative exposure to compare the relative overall risks characteristic of each community. To the best of our knowledge, this point system makes this the first environmental justice study to develop a means for measuring and ranking cumulative exposure for (more)

Urban asthma and the neighbourhood environment in New York City
Asthma is now the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and missed school days in New York City?s poorest neighbourhoods. While most research focuses on the influence of the indoor environment on asthma, this study examines the neighbourhood effects on childhood asthma, such as housing and ambient environmental hazards. Using Geographic Information Science (GIScience) we identify neighbourhoods with elevated concentrations of childhood asthma hospitalizations between 1997 and 2000 in US census tracts, analyze the sociodemographic, housing characteristics, and air pollution burdens from stationary, land use and mobile sources in these areas. The paper reveals the importance of distinguishing the (more)

Using Geospatial Technologies to Enhance and Sustain Resource Planning on Native Lands
The quality of life of Native Peoples will be unavoidably altered as a result of long-term climate change and increased interannual climate variability, especially as it relates to air quality, water resources, forests, agriculture, and wetlands. Native Peoples have had centuries of experience on the land; they have responded to many changes and have found ways to live sustainably. Nevertheless, in addition to facing uncertain environmental changes as a result of climate change, today Native Peoples face diverse internal and external challenges to their ability to manage their natural and cultural resources. These include logging, mining, tourism, and urban encroachment. (more)

 

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