Peer Producing Human Rights

26 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2009 Last revised: 23 Nov 2010

See all articles by Molly K. Land

Molly K. Land

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: November 19, 2010


The growth of collaborative technologies has spurred the development of projects such as Wikipedia, in which large groups of volunteers contribute to production in a decentralized and open format. The author analyzes how these methods of peer-based production can be applied to advance international human rights as well as the limitations of such a model in this field. An underlying characteristic of peer-based production, amateurism, increases capacity and participation. However, the involvement of ordinary individuals in the production of human rights reporting is also its greatest disadvantage, since human rights reports generated by citizen activists are less likely to be perceived as accurate, thereby detracting from the effectiveness of those reports. The author examines methods by which these disadvantages might be overcome and concludes by advocating for a collaborative approach, whereby peer-based production is augmented by training and certification by local professionals.

Keywords: international human rights, human rights, social movements, internet, social networking, peer production, online organizing, online activism, citizen activism, technology, human rights reporting, human rights research

JEL Classification: L3, L31, O3

Suggested Citation

Land, Molly K., Peer Producing Human Rights (November 19, 2010). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2009, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09/10 #12, Available at SSRN:

Molly K. Land (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

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