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:
At the UW Center for Human Rights, student researchers use the Freedom of Information Act (also known as FOIA) and state public records laws to investigate local and international human rights issues, in partnership with human rights organizations working for justice and accountability. Meet recent members of our research team in our new video.
In early 2018, videos of Customs and Border Protection agents questioning and arresting passengers on Greyhound buses went viral on social media. Border Patrol forms obtained by the UWCHR via a Freedom of Information Act request document the detention of 9 people in bus searches in Washington state during the five month period from January through May, 2017.
The ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have written a letter warning local law enforcement agencies that they could be exposing themselves to liability if they continue to use immigration enforcement policies provided by Lexipol, a for-profit company which provides policy language to public safety agencies. The letter cites research by the UW Center for Human Rights, which filed public records requests to obtain local law enforcement agencies’ policies relevant to collaboration with immigration enforcement activities.
On December 6, 2017, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador ordered the Salvadoran Public Prosecutor’s office and Ministry of Defense to carry out a new investigation of the disappearance of the Rivas Clímaco siblings, five children who were forcibly disappeared during a 1982 military operation. The Chamber’s ruling cites as evidence a
Update: On February 15, the Mijente network published the results of a public records request submitted by Maru Mora-Villalpando’s legal team revealing that the Washington State Department of Licensing provided her personal information to ICE. UWCHR later received similar copies of the same documents in response to its request. On February 26, Maru’s supporters published
On January 10, 2018, the ACLU of Washington and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed in September of 2017 against the Spokane Police Department, regarding the detention of an immigrant resident who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in August. The UWCHR highlighted this case in our report,
Español On Monday, December 11, the University of Washington Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the U.S. Department of Defense and two of its subagencies – the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) – under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The UWCHR is seeking
This research memo represents the first in a series reporting results of UWCHR’s new initiative on Human Rights at Home, which we hope will help increase transparency and inform human rights advocates, the public, and our elected leaders on immigrant rights issues in our state. As part of this effort, UWCHR has requested information from
On the fifth anniversary of the founding of the UW Center for Human Rights’ Freedom of Information project in June 2017, the University of Washington Libraries have published a collection of declassified United States government documents which the Center obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. UWCHR Research Fellow Emily Willard shares the history
On October 2, 2015, the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights filed suit against the US Central Intelligence Agency in federal district court. The case is related to our “Unfinished Sentences” project aiming to promote truth, justice, and reparations for survivors of the armed conflict in El Salvador. Our FOIA research For the past