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Human Rights Resources: Government Info

The United Nations & Human Rights

To get started finding International Governmental Organization (IGO) human rights information you may wish to try the following IGO Custom Search Engine which searches urls of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs).

IGO Custom Search


United Nations Yearbook.  Searchable compilation of the primary UN reference volume, with the full text of the entire series from 1946. Each yearbook contains summaries of key UN activities, including several hundred pages on human rights.  

Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General. Contains the current status of multilateral treaties including country declarations and reservations. Part of the United Nations Treaty Collection

ReliefWeb. Humanitarian crisis and emergency awareness service administered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Refworld.  Collection of country information, reports, policy documents, national legislation, position papers, and more on refugees. Use the country name and select "filter" to refine results.

United Nations & Human Rights Research Guide.  Detailed research guide for UN documentation on human rights, compiled by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library. 

United Nations Human Rights Treaties. Provides access to documents from the UN human rights treaty system. Materials include the text of treaties, documents from the UN treaty bodies, information on reform of the system, and other information.

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Main office for the human rights activities of the UN.  Primary features include the Human Rights Bodies section which contains information about Charter-based Bodies and Treaty-based Bodies. 

Universal Human Rights Index of United Nations Documents. Gateway designed "to facilitate access to human rights documents issued by the UN human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council."  Search by country, by rights and by human rights body.

Global Database on Violence Against Women.  Includes laws, policies, programs, institutional mechanisms, research, statistical data, country pages, good practices, and a search mechanism.

United Nations Treaty Body Database.  Searchable database of documents submitted to or issued by UN treaty-based committees (see below).  Includes state "periodic" reports and UN concluding observations, as well as NGO documents.

Universal Periodic Review Database.  Universal periodic review mechanism intended to summarize and review the human rights record of every UN member country (regardless of whether they are signatory to the treaties listed above).

United States Government & Human Rights

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Informative annual report on human rights practices for all countries worldwide from the United States Department of State.  Historical volumes in paper are also available in the Library.

ProQuest Congressional. Database of U.S. congressional publications back to 1789, including published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished until 1979), Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present.

ProQuest Legislative Insight. Contains legislative histories and links to the related full-text Congressional documents of more than 18,000 federal laws enacted since 1929. The searchable PDFs include text of the law, all versions of related bills, law-specific Congressional Record excerpts, and committee hearings, reports, and prints.

United Nations and Humanitarian Relief

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The United Nations Refugee Agency. Includes many online books, papers and statistics.

Relief Web. Web portal from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Hails itself as "the world's leading gateway to information on humanitarian emergencies and disasters."

Refworld. Collection of country information, reports, policy documents, national legislation, position papers, and more on refugees. Use the country name and select "filter" to refine results

United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Chief UN office for coordination of humanitarian affairs, within the UN itself and with other international agencies, especially for major emergencies and natural disasters.

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Includes section on mitigation of marine related disasters.

Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit. United Nations mechanism to coordinate the international response to environmental emergencies and natural disasters.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The UN AIDS agency. See the section on HIV/AIDS in Emergency Settings.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). United Nations children's agency. See the section for publications on children and emergencies.

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. UN agency charged with reducing human, social, economic and environmental losses due to natural hazards.

United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries. UN Office for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States.

United Nations Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee.  Third Committee" of the UN General Assembly, with a mandate to address human rights, social development, refugees, advancement of women, indigenous peoples, and more. 

World Food Programme (WFP). The United Nations Food Agency. The WFP is the world's largest international food aid organization, dedicated to combating hunger in nations with severe food shortages.

Other Human Rights Organizations

African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. Quasi-judicial body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights throughout the African continent.

Council of Europe. See especially the European Court of Human Rights, the only international court where and invidual may bring a human rights complaint forward to an international court.

European Union (EU). Economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe.  

Human Rights Internet. Human rights information and resources that inspire education, advocacy and dialog, with a focus on Canada. 

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. World's largest regional security organization offering documentation in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation. See the section on Human Rights.

Organization of American States. International Organization of member states in the Americas.  The section on human rights containts key OAS human rights commissions and documents.