Raquel Vazquez Llorente, Head of Law & Policy, Technology Threats & Opportunities
Raquel is a lawyer specialized in helping communities use technology to expose human rights abuses and seek accountability for international crimes. At WITNESS, she leads a team that engages early on with emerging technologies that will undermine or enhance audiovisual witnessing, and that will impact thousands of human rights defenders. Her current work focuses on how generative AI and synthetic media affect the trustworthiness of digital content related to critical human rights situations; and on the challenges of accessing, collecting and archiving social media content that could be used for justice for core international crimes. Raquel holds over a decade of experience working on matters concerning the verification, provenance and authenticity of digital content. She is regularly consulted by international accountability institutions, technology companies, and groups documenting core international crimes on matters related to the use of digital evidence in legal proceedings, in particular photo and video.
Before joining WITNESS, Raquel was the Permanent Representative to the International Criminal Court for FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights). Prior to that, Raquel helped build eyeWitness, an organization incubated at the International Bar Association that developed award-winning technology to verify and authenticate photo and video. In her role, she led strategic partnerships with technologists, litigation networks and activists that contributed to the documentation and investigation of international crimes in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe—bringing victim-centered justice to communities affected by human rights abuses.
Raquel is admitted to the Madrid Bar (Spain). She is a member of the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court, and the Advisory Board of TRUE, a project that studies the impact of deepfakes on trust in user-generated evidence in accountability processes for human rights violations. Raquel is also a rostered expert at Justice Rapid Response, an organization that deploys specialists to complex international investigations. She has held visiting research positions on technology and digital evidence at Oxford University and at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law (2019-20). Her work has been featured in Forbes, TEDx and other Spanish and international media, and she has been recognised as one of the Choiseul 100 leaders of tomorrow. In 2020, Raquel was selected by the Obama Foundation as part of their inaugural class of European Leaders.
Raquel holds an MSc in International Strategy and Diplomacy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an Advanced Degree in Law and Business Administration from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
She tweets in English and Spanish @vazquezllorente