[HOT] Central America mapping for asylum cases

Galya B Ruffer g-ruffer at northwestern.edu
Fri Jan 8 14:59:35 UTC 2016

Dear HOT mappers,

The Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern University is launching a pilot project using both GIS data mapping and open street mapping to provide country of origin analysis in Central American asylum cases. Whereas most country of origin reports draw are submitted in support of an asylum case rely on data at the national level, open mapping can provide insight and corroboration of the local context. These are cases from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras where there is often limited or no data at the department level that can help explain the persecution of the individual applicant. On the other hand, mapping offers great potential to show things such as the challenges of reaching a women's health clinic (roadways, distances) or access to police (placement and number of police stations). These are just a couple of examples. For the pilot, we have partnered with a couple of pro-bono lawyers with cases where mapping would be useful to understanding the applicant's situation. For example, within the municipality Santa Rosa de Lima, La Union, El Salvador, we hope to find point (location) data for law enforcement agencies (e.g. police stations, noting differences between local and national police stations), stores and retail locations (differing between standalone stores and storefront/home retail locations), churches, and roads. We are looking for folks in Latin America who would be interested in contributing to the project and also hearing your opinion of the feasibility of the project.

If you are interested, please send us an email off list and we can set up a meeting to discuss the cases in further detail. You can email us at g-ruffer at northwestern.edu or cfms at northwestern.edu.


Galya Ruffer, J.D., Ph.D. | Northwestern University
Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science
Director | Center for Forced Migration Studies<http://www.bcics.northwestern.edu/programs/migration/> | Buffett Institute for Global Studies
620 Library Place, Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3759|Twitter: @gbruffer
Adjudicating Refugee & Asylum Status<http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/law/human-rights/adjudicating-refugee-and-asylum-status-role-witness-expertise-and-testimony> | Cambridge University Press

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