Creating policy from measurement-based evidence is crucial to recognizing everyone's human rights.
The traditional reliance of both local and international CSOs on non-quantitative forms of reporting
and advocacy - using anecdotal evidence, eyewitness testimonials, and the individualized human story
to get their points across - does not need to be eliminated. However, quantitative data has an
important place within this approach.
Statistical data on local, national, or regional trends can ground qualitative accounts by
lending them an extra dimension of objectivity and showing that selected anecdotes are in fact
representative of a larger problem.
In many cases, numbers suggesting the scope of a particular practice are critical in raising
awareness of hidden human rights violations. For example, one 2005 conference participant's
organization has found the UN's statistic that one in four women has suffered sexual abuse
to be an exceptionally effective tool in an outreach campaign on women's rights.