Friday, July 4, 2014

A Database for Humanity

Several human rights groups now implement a new website to bring attention to the civilian conflicts at the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is funding this project to monitor the area by teaming up with Saferworld, the Civil Society Institute, and the Society of Humanitarian Research. The new database tracks the on-going attacks between the two countries and keeps a record of the fighting that occurs. Google Earth and Google Maps are also members of this database, showing the location of the attacks. This new database is designed to deter the terrorists because the news will be well-known and documented. Before now, the incidences between the two countries were not shared because there was little documentation and reporting of the subject. According to Tabib Huseynov, Project Manager for the Caucasus, “Despite the ongoing conflict to date, there has been limited reporting and tracking of incidents along the border. The database will provide one place where details of incidents are held, enabling the scale of incidents against civilians to be seen.” The Caucasus is a region between Europe and Asia, and nestled between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Since the region is plagued by security issues, the database will be available to all people to monitor attacks against civilians. Those who view the website will be able to see the extent of the terrors with the hope of prevention. The project designers are hoping to protect the right to life by showing the world the horrors of this area. When a group infringes this right, they can be held accountable because there will now be a record of the attacks. Many accounts of shootings, gunfire, and unexploded landmines between the two countries have already been reported. Since the war ended in 1994, the relationship between the countries has not improved and each country’s attack affects the property and lives of the other. The violent groups infringe upon the right to have “protection of the law against attacks” from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, with this being said, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not law and cannot be enforced without proper legislative power. The new database is an attempt to bring peace to the troubled areas between the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, though I do not believe this will help the situation. While the idea looks good on paper, current situations in Afghanistan lead me to believe otherwise. There are daily reports of violence from Afghanistan through technology and media, yet the attacks continue. I wonder if the recognition perpetuates this violence? I hope my ideas are proved incorrect because nobody deserves a life filled with turmoil and terror.


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