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LAW 690B - Human Rights Advocacy (Prof. Ludsin, Fall 2015)   Tags: human rights, statistics, united nations  

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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With the research component of your class in mind, we have compiled a listing of useful resources for the topic of human rights. If you have any questions, please request a student consult with a librarian using the form linked on the left hand side of this guide.


Starting Points

Research Guides

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law: Detailed articles on international law topics, with citations, document lists, and bibliographies. Includes links to documents and the Oxford Law Citator for finding citation form and related citing documents.

News and current awareness:

  • Global Legal Monitor: Browse by topic or jurisdiction, or search to find articles on developments in foreign and international law. Articles are in English and include links to primary and news sources referenced.
  • ASIL Insights: Brief analysis of newsworthy stories in international courts, treaties, and international law
  • ASIL International Law in Brief: Abstracts of and links to new primary documents in international law, updates ILM
  • The Issues section has news by sub-topics within civil rights law, including Hate Crimes and Human Rights. News stories include links to reports and government documents. The Publications section also has links to reports, blogs, and the Civil Rights Monitor.

Secondary Sources for Law and Human Rights

Hurisearch Human Rights search engine: Searches human rights websites for reports, studies, journal articles, and jurisprudence.

CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online): Database of journal articles, working papers, and policy briefs from NGOs and research institutes. 

Full-text e-books on international law subjects in Oxford Scholarship Online and Cambridge Books Online.

Emory Library collections: Search discoverE (the library online catalog) for books on international law and human rights. For print materials, international human rights can be found, in general, near K3240. U.S. Civil Rights law is at KF4749, and U.S. election law is at KF4886. DiscoverE also includes records for e-books, with links.

A few suggested titles:

  • Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law (Shelton): Oxford Scholarship Online and K3420 .O94 2013
  • Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law: K3240 .R699 2014
  • Human Rights Acts: The Mechanisms Compared (Gledhill): K3240 .G54 2015
  • Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights Advocacy in Practice (Becker): Woodruff JC571 .B425 2013

Law review articles: Westlaw, Lexis and Hein Online all have law review articles on international law and human rights, as well as U.S. civil rights.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP): Search by keyword, subject, country of publication or heading.  Links to full-text of articles available on Hein, and to Emory's catalog for other availability. Law journals of other countries can be useful for researching the domestic law of those countries, as well as international law.


Social Science and Interdisciplinary Journals

Your project may require research in journals from disciplines other than law, including psychology, sociology, economics, criminology, and public health. You have access as an Emory student to many other databases of academic journals, both full-text and indexes.

Databases @ EmoryYou can browse databases by subject (Political Science, Psychology, LGBT Studies), or search for databases with your search terms ("human rights," statistics)  in their database descriptions. 

discoverE: The catalog for the Emory libraries is also a database for searching articles in multiple campus databases. Log in first as an Emory user. Use the Combined tab, search, then refine your search results by topic. Results will include links to the articles in campus databases.

Multi-disciplinary journal databases:

 JSTOR: Full-text, pdf journals, including older volumes. Disciplines include Feminist & Women's Studies, Health Policy, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Public Health, Public Policy, History, and Statistics.

Academic Search Complete: Multi-disciplinary database of full-text scholarly journals,  searchable by full-text and fields. Many articles are available in PDF. 

Project Muse: Scholarly journals from major university presses, including journals in political studies, gender studies, economics, history, and demography.

Social Science journal databases:

Social Sciences Abstracts: Searchable index of social science journals, including political science, sociology, anthropology, pscychology, sociology, and economics. Full-text available for some results, others with Find it @ Emory links. 

PAIS International: Searchable index of articles, books, policy papers, and government documents in public policy, social policy, and social sciences. Results as citations and abstracts with Find it @ Emory links. 

Contemporary Women's Issues: Global information on women from journals, newsletters, and research reports in disciplines including sociology, psychology, law, health, education, and business.

Women's Studies International: Scholarship in feminist research in the areas of sociology, history, political science, and international relations. Sources include journals, newspapers, newsletters, books, reports, and dissertations.

PsycINFO:  Searchable database of psychology journals and books. Full-text available for some results, others with Find it @ Emory links. 

SocINDEX:  Searchable database of sociology journals, books, dissertations, and conference papers. Includes international and non-U.S. journals. Full-text available for some results, others with Find it @ Emory links.

EconLit: Searchable database of economics journals. Full-text available for some results, others with Find it @ Emory links. 

Public Health journal databases:

PubMedDatabase of the National Library of Medicine. Citations to biomedical articles back to the 1950's, from MEDLINE and other science journal databases. Links are included to many articles either as free web resources or through Find it @ Emory. 

MEDLINE:  Searchable index of journals in medicine, nursing, and healthcare. Links to full-text through Find it @ Emory.

CABI Global Health:  Searchable abstracts of international journals on disease, nutrition, and public health. 

ASSIA (Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts): Searchable index of journals in public health, medicine, psychology, sociology, and social work. Includes international and non-U.S. journals. Full-text available for some results, others with Find it @ Emory links. 


Directories of Human Rights Organizations

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Directory of Organizations

University of Michigan Library: Research Guide on Non-Governmental Organizations on Human Rights

Yale Law Library: Research Guide on Human Rights databases, including websites of IGOs 

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library: Human Rights Links, including by topics of interest


International Courts

Oxford International Law Reports includes international court reports on human rights and international criminal law. Browse options include subject, jurisdiction, and state party.

International Legal Materials (Hein OnlineWestlawLexis) reports judgments and orders of international courts and tribunals.

The Library of Congress’ Global Legal Monitor includes news of international courts with links. Browse jurisdictions including countries and courts, and topics including human rights.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has decisions, judgments, advisory opinions, and pending cases available in pdf and as Word documents. Most are available in English and Spanish, some in Portuguese or French. The site also has Rules of Procedure and international human rights instruments.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Cases before the Court, and Petition and Case System Procedure

The International Criminal Court has judgments and pending case information from the ICC. The site also has the Official Journal of the ICC with its rules of procedure and evidence, regulations, and codes. Its Legal Tools Database has ICC documents, legal instruments, national legislation, national cases, human rights decisions, and other international legal decisions. 

HUDOC is the searchable database of  caselaw of the European Court of Human Rights. Search by treaty article, state, or keyword.

Global Health and Human Rights Database: Judgments by health and human rights topic, country, or international body, plus international instruments. 


Human Rights Treaties

UN Core Human Rights Treaties: With dates and monitoring bodies

Status of Ratification Interactive Dashboard: Status of ratification of the 18 international human rights treaties by country, with declarations.

UN Universal Human Rights Instruments: Longer list of treaties and documents, arranged by topic

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library: Treaties and UN documents, topic guide.  

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Treaties

Council of Europe TreatiesIncludes the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies

Treaty Bodies:

United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies include:

the Human Rights Committee (CCPR)

the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR)

the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

the Committee Against Torture (CAT)

the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW)

the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD)

the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED)

Treaty Body Documents and Reports:

Their documents include core documents, concluding observations, country visits reports, the Universal Periodic Review (peer review), states party reports, and jurisprudence (individual complaint resolution). Reports document human rights abuses and concerns, and the country's steps to implement the human rights treaties, including legislation, caselaw, and agency information.

UN Treaty Bodies Search: Find documents by state, committee, document type, and date.

Universal Human Rights Index: Country-specific information from the Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, and Universal Periodic Review. Search for annotations by keywords, region or state, document type, treaty body, right, or affected persons.

Treaty Bodies list: Browse reports by committee, type of report, or country.

Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs: Special mandate resolutions and reports by country and theme.


Individuals may bring complaints about violations of their rights under the human rights treaties through the UN Treaty Bodies.  Not all treaty body complaint mechanisms have entered into force.

OHCHR Jurisprudence database: Search individual complaints from the treaty bodies by keyword.

CCPR Centre Database: Jurisprudence database with filters by country, article, and keywords. 

Human Rights Committee Jurisprudence table: Browse decisions with subject matter and procedural issues listed.

Human Rights Treaty Bodies Individual Communications: Procedures for bringing complaints under the human rights treaties

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee

Information on the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, including Rules of Procedure and on Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures United Nations Human Rights Treaties: Treaty texts, includes amendments and protocols. Documents arranged in an extensive list of themes and subject matters, and by treaty article. Documents in the database include concluding observations, articles, jurisprudence, general comments and recommendations. However, the database has not been recently updated.



United Nations Documents

UN DocumentsFull-text pdf documents and resolutions (chronological by session); find by number or search by document symbol.

UN Official Document System (ODS): Full-text, searchable database of all official UN documentation since 1993 (except sales publications and treaties), and all Security Council resolutions since 1946.

AccessUN: Searchable index of treaties, documents of  the six main bodies, resolutions, UN periodical articles, with some documents available in full-text (including resolutions)

UNBISNET: Catalogue of UN publications, documentation, and articles, includes an index of resolutions, voting records, citations to speeches, treaty status reports and background, and many documents in full-text

United Nations Rule of Law Document Repository:  News and documents on the UN's work in the field of rule of law. Tools include official UN documents and UN standards, resolutions, reports, guidance materials, and training materials. Themes include poverty reduction, peacebuilding, gender equality, constitution-making, and transitional justice. The site also has links to other databases on the rule of law, from the United Nations and other international organizations. 

United Nations Member States on the Record: Database of UN documents with the views of UN member states. Includes search results for the periodic reports on the Human Rights Conventions, with links to documents. Also includes statements in the General Assembly, search results in the Index to Speeches database, and draft resolutions sponsored.


Other Human Rights Reports

State Department Country Reports on Human Rights: Retrieve individual country reports or build reports on issues across countries. See Appendices C and D for tables of ratifications of human rights treaties.

HuriSearch: Human rights search engine.  Searches the websites of over 5000 human rights organizations for papers and articles from IGOs, NGOs ,national human rights institutions, and academic institutions. Enter a simple search to reach a search page with more options, including searching by organization, collection, and format.

ICTJ International Center for Transitional Justice: Documents and publications related to work pursuing accountability for past human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch:  Browse the topics list to find news and reports.

Amnesty International:  Human rights news by topic and region or country.

Human Rights Studies Online (subscription database): Primary documents, articles, and video on major human rights crimes and conflict atrocities 1900-2010. 

World Justice Project: Rule of Law Index and Country Profiles on the country’s adherence to the rule of law, including rankings on Fundamental Rights.

Women Watch (UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality): Information, resources, and reports on women and human rights. 


U.S. Civil Rights Law

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division: Enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status, and national origin. Find publications and reports, case summaries, and information on how to file a complaint.

Getting Uncle Sam to Enforce Your Civil Rights (US Commission on Civil Rights): Information, addresses, and links on where to file a complaint with federally assisted programs

Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity: The state's agency charged with overseeing state civil rights.

American Civil Liberties Union: Reports and cases in which the ACLU is involved with preservation of individual rights and liberties.

Books and Treatises:

  • Rodney A. Smolla, Federal Civil Rights Acts (Westlaw)
  • Martin A. Schwartz, Section 1983 Litigation (Federal Judicial Center)
  • Ivan Bodensteiner and Rosalie Levinson, State and Local Government Civil Rights Liability (Westlaw)
  • Manual on Employment Discrimination Law and Civil Rights Actions in Federal Courts (Westlaw)


U.S. Election Law

Federal Election Commission: Federal election laws and regulations, policy statement and guidance documents, advisory opinions, pending litigation, case index of federal election law, financial disclosure reports and data.

National Association of Secretaries of State: Election information by state, surveys and reports on elections.

NARA U.S. Voting and Election Resources: Links to resources on voting, elections, and campaign finance

U.S. Election Assistance Commission: Information on election administration and voting systems, with voter's guides and an Election Resource Library.

Brennan Center for Justice: Public policy institute with a focus on voting rights, redistricting, and campaign finance reform. Find case summaries, policy briefs, news, and a blog on election law.

Campaign Finance Institute: Reports and studies on campaign finance, including data reports.

Bloomberg BNA Money and Politics Report: News, cases, regulations, and legislation on campaign finance, lobbying, election reform, and the FEC.


Law of Other Countries

Foreign Law Guide (subscription database): Entries by jurisdiction include legal history and descriptions of the country’s government and legal institutions, as well as sources for legal research. Find statutes listed by subject with citations, sometimes with links or with English translation sources. Subject headings include Citizenship, Emigration, Immigration & Nationality; Constitution & Politics; Crime & Punishment; Family; Indigenous Peoples; and Labor.

Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online: The guide for each country is arranged by branches of government and includes links to legislatures, gazettes, codes, courts, and ministries, as well as to legal research guides and background information sources for each country.

Northwestern University List of Foreign Governments: Links to parliaments, government agencies, ministries, legislatures, statistics offices, and central banks.

Hein Online's World Constitutions Illustrated (subscription database): Current and previous constitutions, in official languages and English translations. The World Constitutions Library includes constitutional histories and commentaries in treatises, law review articles (in the Hein Online Law Journals Library), and country studies.

Constitute Constitutions Project: A free resource for making world constitutions available, comparable, and searchable.  Constitutions are available in English translation. Articles of constitutions are tagged by topic so they can be browsed or searched.  Topics include amendment procedure, election rules, civil and political rights, and enforcement.

NATLEX: International Labour Organization Database of labor, employment, social security, and human rights laws

 FAOLEX (UN Food and Agriculture Organization): Laws and regulations on food and agriculture, including laws on environmental protection, water use, land use, and waste management.

International Survey of Family Law: Annual publication with articles on family law of other countries. Available on Hein Online and at K670 .I58. 

Law Library of Congress Research Guide: Customary Law in Africa


Data and Statistics

Emory Electronic Data CenterData and research assistance with using datasets, including data resources for political science.

Proquest Statistical (subscription database):  Search statistics from federal agencies, IGOs, professional and trade organizations, commercial publishers, and  research organizations.

OECD iLibrary:  Online library of statistical databases and ebooks with statistics including global development, environment, and education.

United Nations Statistics Division:  Statistical databases by topic (demographics, social indicators) and by organization. 

UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Statistical yearbooks and the UNHCR Statistical Online Population Database.

World Health Organization Global Health Observatory: Data, reports, and country statistics on health.

CIRI Human Rights Data Project: Downloadable data set with information on government respect for human rights by country, with data from 1981-2011.

Europa World Plus: Online version of the Europa World Yearbook. Information on countries of the world, including statistics on population, health and welfare, trade, and education. 

Harvard Law Library Research Guide: Sources of International Relations and Human Rights data.

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Statistical reports and publications from the U.S. Department of Justice on courts, crime, and law enforcement.

Cato Institute National Police Misconduct Reporting Project: Newsfeed, reports, raw data, and maps of incidents of police misconduct.

American Factfinder: Data from the census, American Community Survey, and the Economic Census, with datasets, fact sheets, reference maps, surveys and estimates.

American National Election Studies: Data on voting, public opinion, and political participation. 

Open Secrets(Center for Responsive Politics): Includes data and tables on political fundraising and spending by candidate, party, interest group, and PAC.

Pew Research Center: Public polling data on U.S. politics and social trends.

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