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I am driven to ensure that governments uphold justice and human dignity

Human rights abuses worldwide damage and destroy the lives of millions. Barbara Frey prepares advocates to ensure that governments everywhere make good on their promises to uphold justice and human dignity for all.

The role of advocates

Barbara Frey

“I teach students the entire toolbox of ways to effect change.”

Barbara Frey, Professor
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Tools for change

Observatory on the disappeared

Among the powerful new tools for activists are methods of quantitative research.

Frey and her students are using these tools to sketch a clearer picture of the violent disappearances of almost 30,000 people in Mexico in the past six years.

U of M undergraduates are systematically going through local media sources for information about the victims, the perpetrators, and whether any justice was reached in each case. All of this information is being coded into a large database.

"A database provides activists with a broader form of evidence," Frey says. "We can identify patterns, not just in one case but across several cases."

Why the University of Minnesota?

“Some of the most important international human rights organizations in the world are right here in the Twin Cities. I’m able to place my students in 25 different internships at the snap of a finger.”Barbara Frey
“You have students in internships that come back and bring their experiences to the classroom. And then they apply what they’ve learned in theory to their practice.”Cameron Mailhot, U of M graduate who is managing the Mexico project team