With the usage of text mining and machine learning, Specialisterne has helped The Danish Institute for Human Rights develop a database, which shows how initiatives in the area of human rights are linked to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The database already has users worldwide and has been acknowledged by United Nations Human Rights Council.

The Company’s Challenge

The Danish Institute for Human Rights in Copenhagen wanted to develop a database that could show, in which way particularly initiatives in the area of human rights are linked to the 17 goals and the 169 targets of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Data should be derived from the thousands of text files in English continually produced by the international monitoring of human rights. The ambition was to link every relevant piece of text to a specific SDG. Before teaming up with Specialisterne, the reading and indexing of the loads of texts largely went on manually. The work progressed slowly and was vulnerable to human error and inconsistency.

The Solution

Specialisterne’s consultant developed and trained a text mining algorithm able to detect significant words in a sentence and decide from their meaning and context, which SDG they link to. The collaboration between The Danish Institute for Human Rights and Specialisterne continues. Next step is to version the algorithm to handle other languages than English and recognize common expressions consisting of several words. The consultant is working on the project situated at Specialisterne’s office. The collaboration is based on trust and progresses dynamically with frequent meetings and exchange of files. The outcome of the project – the public database – can be visited The database has users from more than 150 countries engaged in human rights and development. The users come from ministries, UN, EU, NGO’s and other civic organizations. I 2019 har databasen haft brugere fra 150 lande.

The Client says

”Specialisterne’s contribution to the database has been of great importance. Human rights are reflected in more than 90 percent of the SDG’s, and the database is making us able to present the mutual reiteration of human rights and SDG’s to development organizations, ministries and other players in the field of human rights and sustainable development.”

– Eva Grambye, Deputy Executive Director, The Danish Institute for Human Rights.

”The database has already aroused great interest and enthusiasm in the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has embedded the result of our analysis in its own global database, and we have agreed to help The Office automate its data processing.”

“Many companies and organizations handle huge sets of text like us and could benefit from being able to categorize complete documents as well as excerpts of texts retroactively in a similar way.”


– Adrian Hassler, Officer, The Danish Institute for Human Rights.