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Human Rights Research - The Basics

Sources and techniques for getting started with human rights research - especially for the International Human Rights Clinic and other students and faculty at the Univ. of San Francisco School of Law.

Introduction

This page highlights some United Nations sites and U.N. document research tools that are particularly useful for International Human Rights Clinic projects.

For more on United Nations research, visit the sites in the Guides to U.N. Document Research box, below.

The UN directory below has a much more comprehensive list of UN bodies and organizations.

U.N. Human Rights Bodies

Use this links for human rights bodies relevant to the International Human Rights Clinic.

U.N. Human Rights Documents - Selected Sources

These sources are useful for pinpointing key human rights documents from the main U.N. human rights mechanisms (including treaty bodies and charter bodies).

U.N. Document Search Tools

These are useful tools for finding specific U.N. documents, or for searching for U.N. documents that address topics you are researching.

Finding Submissions by Human Rights Advocates to the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Commission, & the Commission on the Status of Women

Follow the steps below to find submissions by Human Rights Advocates to the Human Rights Council and its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission.

United Nations Legal Documents

Here are some ways to find documents generated by the U.N. under its Charter mandate "to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained."

Guides to U.N. Document Research

For some of the best expert advice on finding United Nations documents, try these sites.

U.N. Doc. Symbols - Human Rights

These are the U.N. document symbols for documents from the major U.N. human rights bodies. Including these symbols in searches can help limit results to documents generated by a specific body. A detailed A guide to U.N. document symbols (what they are and how to read them) is available from the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.

  • E/CN.4/ — Commission on Human Rights (defunct)
  • A/HRC/ — Human Rights Council (supercedes Comm'n on HR)
  • E/CN.6/ — Commission on the Status of Women
  • CCPR/ — Human Rights Committee (treaty body for ICCPR)
  • E/C.12/ — Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (treaty body for International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • CERD/ — Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (treaty body for Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination)
  • CEDAW/ — Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (treaty body for Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women)
  • CAT/ — Committee against Torture (treaty body for Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment)
  • CAT/OP/ — Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (treaty body for Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture)
  • CRC/ — Committee on the Rights of the Child (treaty body for Convention on the Rights of the Child)
  • CRPD/ — Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (treaty body for Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol)
  • CMW/ — Committee on Migrant Workers (treaty body for International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families)
  • CED/ — Committee on Enforced Disappearances (treaty body for International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance)
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