The UW Center for Human Rights uses the Freedom of Information Act and state public records laws to investigate local and international human rights issues, in partnership with human rights organizations working for justice and accountability. Through targeted research and strategic litigation, we’re fighting for access to information as a human right.
Learn more about our recent work:
Last week, on September 20, 2022, we filed a lawsuit against DHS and ICE for failure to lawfully respond to FOIA requests. ICE’s stonewalling of our FOIA requests leaves us with no other option but to bring suit against the agency. We bring FOIA litigation because we know that access to information is a human
When I first learned about the Freedom of Information Act, I pictured something resembling a high-security vending machine: you punch in what you want and, instantly, pages upon pages of high-level, top-secret information are dispensed on command. Unfortunately, this paints a somewhat unrealistic picture of the work we do at the UW Center for Human
Updates from UWCHR’s various projects from our 2019-2020 Annual Report: Family separation in the Pacific Northwest, our Immigrant Rights Observatory, ICE Air and deportation flights, Unfinished Sentences El Salvador, and the Panama Files and other work for access to information as a human right.
A new set of 94 declassified U.S. government documents have been added to the UW Center for Human Rights’ El Salvador FOIA Collection maintained by UW Libraries. The documents in the new tranche cover a wide range of topics, shedding light on the depth of the U.S.’s role in Salvadoran military operations and revealing a previously unknown cache of intelligence records, of which the UWCHR is now seeking declassification.
Cowlitz County Youth Services Center in Longview, WA, and the juvenile Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR), in The Dalles, OR, are two of only three facilities in the nation where immigrant children who are taken from their families by ICE are detained, without access to due process or the protections mandated for migrant youth under the 1997 Flores Agreement.
During December 2019, UWCHR Director Prof. Angelina Snodgrass Godoy and undergraduate research intern Maya Green [International Studies, Art History] traveled to Panama City to share research into U.S. government archives regarding the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, dubbed “Operation Just Cause” by the U.S. military. Here Maya shares reflections on the visit and the significance
Since the founding of the UW Center for Human Rights in 2009, upholding access to information as a human right has emerged as a shared goal of various Center projects. Our researchers use laws including the U.S. federal Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, as well as state public records laws, to uncover documentation related
The UWCHR is excited to be part of the Panama Files project, a multidisciplinary, multinational project in partnership with the journalist collective Concolón, to help recover historical memory of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama and further human rights objectives.
A newly-released Department of Homeland Security document reveals allegations of serious abuses on ICE deportation flights, including accounts of mistreatment, excessive force, due process violations, and deaths.
Recent days have brought new developments in the University of Washington’s long-standing lawsuit against the US Department of Defense for access to records pertaining to wartime atrocities in El Salvador. In this case, originally filed in December 2017, the University of Washington seeks the declassification of US documents pertaining to the armed conflict, focusing particularly