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Take Action on Google

'Take Action on Google' utilizes the Google Map open source API technology ( to create an interactive platform, bringing victims, supporters and the general public together into an online visual environment

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Written by DeletedUser

The platform’s primary function is to raise awareness of the plight of those who have been unlawfully detained by allowing victims to share their stories. Victims, friends, or family members can upload the victim’s story and share his/her experience in a variety of formats such as simple text, artwork, video, or interviews with a place mark on the customized google-map. When the map is ‘zoomed out’ the visitor will see the overwhelming number of instances where this crime occurs in each continent/country/region. When the visitor hovers over a particular marker, the uploaded content opens up giving the general public access the individual stories that make up these staggering numbers.

The secondary function of the platform is to provide opportunities for action. If an individual is moved to help the cause of the unlawfully detained in general or the case of a specific victim in particular, they can do so in a variety of formats. There are three broadly defined ways of interacting with the platform.

Sharing is primarily the role of the victim or the victim’s storyteller. The individual who uploads content on behalf of the victim has the opportunity to talk about the potential reasons behind the unlawful detention, the challenges for the victim and his/her family and friends, and the current needs of support that exist for the victim. The nature of the information shared is entirely up to the storyteller, however, the platform will seek to find out certain details, such as location of the incident, general motivation behind the detention, and support requests to help with cataloging the story on the map and ease of searching for visitors who are interested in related cases.

One way of upholding Human Rights on the face of unlawful detention is through education and understanding. The subject of Human Rights is being taught in a number of educational institutions and this platform could serve as a case study complement to theoretical writings. It would launch a dialogue on the definition of unlawful detention and serve as a learning guide. Users can freely explore and learn.

This tab filters victims who are seeking help or their family and friends. Visitors to the website, after learning of specific cases, may choose to support victims in a number of different ways. They may clink on “donate” buttons, “Take Action” petition buttons, or even offer specialized services (such as legal assistance) through a feedback form that generates when clicking on an “additional support” button. Visitors to the website can filter the cases according to their current geographic location, or their area of expertise helping them narrow down the number of cases displayed on the map that they would like to review. If a practitioner wants closer contact with a particular victim, he/she can set up an approved log-in account, through which they can directly communicate with victims or send a communicate with Amnesty International representatives saying “I’d like to help.”

Google Map Functionality
· Map view and list view: aids the user in identifying particular cases they would like to research
· Translation function: shared victim information is recorded in Google supported languages, but then translated to English (as a starting point) for map display.
· Customized placemarks: according to profile statuses, markers could be colored to indicate current and closed cases.
· Aggregated display of case number: check out for an example. To cut the clutter and provide useful data at a global, regional and country level, individual cases would not be highlighted. Instead the number of cases in the world, region, or country would be displayed. When zoomed at an appropriate level, the individual place markers would appear.

Story profile
· Uploaded data could include the victim’s name, photo, story and timeline of detention, details of support needed, etc. All information is optional, but some text must be validated before the story can appear on the map.
· The content can be uploaded via one of several methods, depending on what technology the individual telling the story has access to. Website feedback forms, e-mail, SMS/MMS (texting), and voice are all acceptable forms of content transition.
· Using parsing technology, Google would attempt to ascertain ‘tags’ on the victim’s story such as location and nature of the crime to help with map organization.
· All content would be routed through Amnesty International before being placed on the map. Even though anyone can contribute to the platform, some sort of security must be maintained to uphold the reputation of Amnesty International in this process. Amnesty may want to fact check some elements of a story before placing it online.

· Google Map
· VoxSciences

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

Resources: · A Google partnership to set an “Illegal Detention Awareness” week. If Google partners with Amnesty International, visitors to the site will be significantly enhanced. · A group of programmers to create and maintain the mapping platform. · Amnesty International employees who would be responsible for vetting the stories of victims. · A marketing team to publicize the mapping platform and obtain contributors.

My Virtual Team

This idea was created by ICU The Hub Team (Anne, Lydia, Juliana, Midori, Mark, Takefumi, Tsuru, Yukie, Nelson and Mara), using "Brainstorm in a Box" - We also owe a special thanks to Hector Ouilhet and Masashi Kawashima at Google for their invaluable contribution and feedback

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I appreciate how all these tools could be helping with awareness but eventually we need some high profile individuals to come together to make unlawful detention a thing of the past.

I remember there was a political detainee name Chia Thye Poh who was detained by Lee Kuan Yew's government for 32 years without trial. He was detained in jail for 22 years and later served under house arrest with limitations for another 9 and a half years. He could have been detained till now if not for Nelson Mandela.

The story goes like this. The government of Singapore decided to invite Nelson Mandela to visit the state of Singapore. Nelson Mandela who was then president of South Africa after his release from prison had heard that Chia Thye Poh had been jailed for 22+ years in prison.

Nelson Mandela having been jailed for a long time as well was not pleased that Chia Thye Poh was still in jail and made the following arrangement with the Singapore government. He would not make the visit to Singapore unless he see's his brother "Chia Thye Poh" release from jail. His actions was enough to convince the Singapore government to oblige and release Chia and put him under house arrest. You see, without Nelson Mandela, Chia could still be in jail by now.

That is what I call a silent hero. There wasn't internet back then, if not it would have been a worldwide sensation. The Brad Pitts, Angelina Jolies need to stand up and do their part for humanity. We need more like minded public figures to stand up and help us with the fight.

Edmund Ng

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