Better Data Collection Bolsters Human Rights for Marginalized People

July 10, 2023
Better Data Collection Bolsters Human Rights for Marginalized People

In the pursuit of safeguarding and promoting human rights, accurate and comprehensive data collection plays a critical role. It provides the evidence needed to identify inequalities, measure progress, and design effective policies and interventions. However, when it comes to marginalized communities, data gaps and limitations have often hindered the realization of their rights. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of better data collection for marginalized groups and explore how it can enhance human rights outcomes. 

The Challenge of Data Gaps for Marginalized Communities

Marginalized communities, including indigenous peoples, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals, have historically faced systemic discrimination and exclusion. This exclusion extends to data collection efforts, where their experiences and needs are often underrepresented or entirely overlooked. The lack of disaggregated data based on relevant characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status obscures the realities faced by these communities and limits the effectiveness of policies and programs aimed at addressing their specific challenges.

Understanding the Importance of Data Collection

Accurate and comprehensive data collection is essential for understanding the lived experiences of marginalized communities and identifying the specific human rights issues they face. It provides a solid foundation for evidence-based policymaking, advocacy, and resource allocation. By collecting disaggregated data that captures the diversity within these communities, policymakers and human rights practitioners gain a more nuanced understanding of their needs, enabling targeted interventions that can lead to more equitable outcomes.

The Power of Data in Promoting Human Rights

  1. Advocacy and Awareness: Data serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness about human rights violations and advocating for change. By highlighting the disparities and challenges faced by marginalized groups, data helps to amplify their voices and secure the necessary support and resources to address their rights.
  2. Policy Design and Implementation: Data-driven policymaking ensures that policies and programs are responsive to the specific needs of marginalized communities. By identifying gaps and disparities, policymakers can develop targeted interventions that address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity.
  3. Accountability and Monitoring: Data collection allows for the monitoring of human rights progress and the accountability of governments and organizations. It enables the measurement of outcomes, the identification of areas needing improvement, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions.
  4. Empowerment and Participation: Data collection that involves and empowers marginalized communities can serve as a catalyst for their active participation in decision-making processes. It helps to challenge stereotypes, dismantle biases, and promote their inclusion and representation.
Better data collection is an essential component of advancing human rights for marginalized communities. By addressing data gaps and limitations, we can ensure that the experiences and needs of these communities are accurately captured and inform targeted interventions. It is crucial for governments, organizations, and human rights practitioners to invest in inclusive and disaggregated data collection efforts to promote evidence-based policymaking, raise awareness, and empower marginalized groups.

Together, let us recognize the power of data in bolstering human rights for all, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. By embracing better data collection practices, we can move closer to a more inclusive and equitable society where every individual's human rights are respected and protected.


  1. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2022, February 25). Better Data Collection Bolsters Human Rights for Marginalised People. Retrieved from