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Human Rights Research Guide

Written by Aslihan Bulut Last Updated December 13, 2014

This guide provides an overview of useful sources for research on international human rights law, with an emphasis on free online sources and sources available through Diamond Law Library and other Columbia University libraries.

This is a selective list of sources. For additional research advice, please contact the librarians at the Reference Desk. For directions and reference hours, see the Diamond Law Library homepage.

Background & Reference Sources

This list of background and reference sources focuses on dictionaries, encyclopedias and directories that were published or updated since 2000. To see more of these types of sources available at Diamond Law Library, including older editions, please search on Pegasus for the following Subjects:

  • Human rights -- Dictionaries
  • Human rights-- Encyclopedias
  • International law -- Encyclopedias
  • Human rights -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Most of the background and reference sources in this list are in print format. Databases and other electronic resources are marked [electronic resource].


A Dictionary of Human Rights, 2nd edition by David Robertson (Europa Publications, 2004)
Professor Robertson describes his book as “a series of small essays,” each one covering a major concept, legal instrument, or organization related to human rights. The book includes a handy appendix that reprints some fundamental human rights texts, including international treaties and national laws from France, Germany, Canada, Hungary, Israel, and South Africa.
Dictionary of International Human Rights Law by Connie de la Vega (Edward Elgar, 2013)
This book provides one-paragraph definitions of concepts, legal instruments, and organizations related to human rights. The appendix is a list of 259 human rights treaties and other international and national legal instruments; each one has a short description, citation, and URL.
A Handbook of International Human Rights Terminology, 2nd edition by H. Victor Condé (University of Nebraska Press, 2004)
This book is primarily intended for students who are new to the study of human rights. The dictionary section contains brief explanations of human rights-related concepts, legal instruments, and organizations. Comprehensive appendixes include an appendix on "Official Citations for Human Rights and Related Instruments."
Historical Dictionary of Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations, 2nd edition by Robert F. Gorman & Edward S. Mihalkanin (Scarecrow Press, 2007)
Provides brief descriptions of major organizations (private, governmental, national, and international), people, concepts, treaties, and other legal instruments related to human rights and humanitarian law. Includes a chronology of events and an extensive subject bibliography.
Lexicon of Human Rights = Les Définitions des Droits de l’Homme by Cédric Viale (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008)
In most human rights dictionaries, each entry is a definition written by the author(s). However, in this book, each entry is a compilation of direct quotations from treaties and other human rights instruments. Another unique feature of this book is that it provides the same text twice: the first half in English, the second half in French.


Encyclopedia of Human Rights David P. Forsythe, editor in chief (Oxford University Press, 2009)
This 5-volume encyclopedia focuses on 1945 to the present (2009), with some coverage of prior developments. It covers concepts, organizations (governmental and non-governmental, global, regional, and national), people (including those who have had a negative effect), and situations related to human rights. It includes entries on the human rights situation in contemporary as well as historical countries and regions; for example, there are entries on both the Democratic Republic of Congo and on the Belgian Congo. The entries are written by scholars and practitioners from various countries. The last volume includes an extensive index.
Encyclopedia of Human Rights, 2nd ed. by Edward Lawson (Taylor & Francis, 1996)
This 1,715-page single-volume compendium covers the years between 1945 and 1996. Published with the cooperation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights / Centre for Human Rights, this encyclopedia relies primarily on the reports of UN institutions such as Special Rapporteurs and human rights treaty-monitoring bodies. It includes entries on people (in particular, Nobel Peace Prize winners), concepts, international organizations (governmental and non-governmental), treaties, and other human rights instruments (with citations to the official sources). Unlike most other dictionaries and encyclopedias, this book also includes entries on the state of human rights in 186 countries and territories. The appendixes contain a chronological list of documents included in this work. A glossary and a subject index are also available.
International Encyclopedia of Human Rights: Freedoms, Abuses, and Remedies by Robert L. Maddex (CQ Press, 2000)
A useful source for beginner researchers looking for brief explanations of key concepts, organizations, international agreements, and other documents significant to the historical development of human rights. Short biographies of major figures are also included.
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, updated periodically) [electronic resource]
This is the online edition of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law previously published in print. This comprehensive reference work contains articles written by scholars and practitioners dealing with all aspects of public international law, including basic principles, rules, and summaries of important decisions. A useful source for a description and an evaluation of public international law subjects with the relevant legal situations, including many human rights-related topics. Each article is marked with the date it was last updated.


United Nations – Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) civil society organization database [electronic resource]
An extensive NGO database that can be searched by various fields, including country and type of organization. Information is available in multiple languages.
World Directory of Human Rights Research and Training Institutions, 6th edition (UNESCO, 2003), also available as an [electronic resource] through the UNESCO website
Prepared by the Social and Human Sciences Documentation Centre and the Division of Human Rights of UNESCO this directory provides much more than contact information. The entries are annotated and there are several finding aids including subject and specialist indexes.
Human Rights Organizations & Periodicals Directory, 13th edition (Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, 2013)
This directory focuses on organizations and publications in the United States that work on human rights problems in the U.S., although some also work on such issues in other countries. Alphabetical guide with full contact information, geographical index by state, list of internships, periodical index, and subject index are some of the useful features included.
Dictionary of Human Rights Advocacy Organizations in Africa by Santosh Saha (Greenwood Press, 1999)
This directory includes governmental and non-governmental organizations. For each organization, there is a brief description of its work and at least one reference. Many entries also mention the organization’s history and reputation. The organizations are listed alphabetically by name, and there is also a country index useful for researchers seeking organizations in a specific nation in Africa.
National Human Rights Institutions in the Asia Pacific Region by Brian Burdekin & Jason Naum (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007)
This source is much more than a directory. It is a collection of select international materials and comparative tables to enable the researcher to compare the established national (i.e. governmental) human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific region. The bulk of the text is dedicated to the relevant legislation of the countries in the region, making this a valuable reference source. One of the authors, Brian Burdekin, previously served as Special Advisor on National Institutions for the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights.

Other Background & Reference Sources

International Human Rights in a Nutshell, 4th edition by Thomas Buergenthal, Dinah Shelton & David P. Stewart (West, 2009)
A compact introduction to the international law of human rights. The table of cases with full citations may be quite useful.

Human Rights Organizations

Below is a selected list of major organizations that monitor human rights situations around the world and/or contribute to the development of human rights law. To find more, see the directories suggested in this research guide.

Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)

United Nations (UN)
See Diamond Law Library's Research Guide: The United Nations. Relevant UN bodies include:
Council of Europe (CoE)
See Diamond Law Library's Research Guide : The European Human Rights System and the European Court of Human Rights. Relevant CoE bodies include:
Inter-American system
Relevant bodies include:
African Union
Relevant bodies include:
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Maastricht Centre for Human Rights
Human Rights Internet
African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA)
Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
Asian Human Rights Commission
Derechos Human Rights

Treaties and Other Human Rights Instruments

Collections of Treaties & Instruments

There are several general collections of treaties available to Columbia Law School students and faculty, including HeinOnline, Westlaw, Lexis, and the free online United Nations Treaty Collection. More details can be found in Diamond Law Library’s Guide to Treaty Research.

Below is a list of specialized collections of treaties and other instruments related to human rights. Some of these collections are in print, and some are online databases, which are marked [electronic resource].

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments (United Nations, 2002)
This compilation, prepared by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), includes instruments adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This compilation includes only the text of the instruments, no annotations.
International Human Rights Instruments: A Compilation of Treaties, Agreements, and Declarations of Especial Interest to the United States by Richard B. Lillich, ed. (Hein, 1990)
Although this compilation of treaties is no longer up to date, it is still useful for its annotations. This compilation includes: human rights treaties that the U.S. was a party to; treaties that the U.S. had signed but not ratified; treaties that the U.S. had not signed; and other international human rights instruments (e.g. Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Useful annotations include U.S. government action taken in regard to the instrument, a selected bibliography of books and articles related to the instrument, and a list of U.S. federal and state judicial decisions in which the instrument is cited or discussed.
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library - Human Rights Treaties and Other Instruments [electronic resource]
This is a great online collection of treaties, organized by subject and by country. Also look at the entire University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, which has over 65,000 documents and counting.

Individual Treaties & Instruments

Treaties and other human rights instruments are published in various sources (see The Bluebook, 19th edition, Rule 21.4.5 and Table T4), including:

  • UNTS = United Nations Treaty Series, available in print and online through the United Nations Treaty Collection
  • ILM = International Legal Materials, available in print and online through HeinOnline
  • UST = United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, available in print and online through HeinOnline
  • S. Treaty Doc. = Senate Treaty Documents, available online through HeinOnline
  • OASTS = Organization of American States Treaty Series, available in print
  • ETS = European Treaty Series, available in print

Below is a list of major treaties and other human rights instruments. This list is not exhaustive.

For each treaty or other human rights instrument listed below, we have provided citations to one or more of the sources where it has been published. Wherever possible, we have provided a direct link to text of the document.

Universal (Global) Treaties & Instruments

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
1465 UNTS 85
S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20 (scroll to page ii after the page loads)
23 ILM 1027
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
1249 UNTS 13
19 ILM 33
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
78 UNTS 277
102 Stat 3045 (Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987)
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2515 UNTS 3
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
1577 UNTS 3
28 ILM 1456
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention)
189 UNTS 150
19 UST 6223
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
660 UNTS 195
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
2716 UNTS 3
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
2220 UNTS 3
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
999 UNTS 171
6 ILM 368
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
993 UNTS 3
6 ILM 360
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
GA Res. 217A (III), UN Doc A/810 at 71 (1948) (available on microficheand online through the Official Document System of the United Nations
Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
75 UNTS 31
6 UST 3114
Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
75 UNTS 85
6 UST 3217
Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
75 UNTS 135
6 UST 3316
Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
75 UNTS 287
6 UST 3516

Regional Treaties & Instruments

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
1520 UNTS 217
21 ILM 58
American Convention on Human Rights
1144 UNTS 143
OASTS No. 36
9 ILM 99)
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
213 UNTS 222
ETS No. 5

Interpretation & Application of International Human Rights Law

A variety of institutions interpret and apply international human rights law through monitoring activities, court proceedings, and other adjudicative procedures. Most of these institutions post their recent decisions, reports, and other publications on their websites. Some older materials may be available only in print or microfiche.

You can also find such materials on the websites of human rights organizations (see this research guide’s section on human rights organizations).

UN Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms

Treaty Monitoring Bodies

Each of the core international human rights treaties has a corresponding treaty monitoring body (also called a treaty body), a committee of independent experts that monitors implementation of that treaty.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)
Human Rights Committee
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979)
Committee against Torture
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (1984)
Committee on the Rights of the Child
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
Committee on Migrant Workers
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990)
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)
Committee on Enforced Disappearances
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (2006)
Important documents to look for include:
  • General Comments interpreting treaty provisions
  • Documentation related to the committee’s review of individual states parties’ compliance with the treaty, including state reports, NGO reports, and the committee’s Concluding Observations
  • Documentation related to complaints against states parties

Special Rapporteurs & Other Special Procedures

The Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups, and other special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent experts that monitor human rights related to a particular country or thematic issue.

Universal Periodic Review

All member states of the United Nations undergo a Universal Periodic Review of the human rights situation in the state, conducted under the auspices of the Human Rights Council. Documentation related to the UPR includes reports from the state, UN bodies, NGOs, and the Human Rights Council.

International Court of Justice

See Diamond Law Library's International Court of Justice Research Guide.

International Criminal Court

See Diamond Law Library's International Criminal Law Research Guide

European Court of Human Rights & Other Council of Europe Bodies

See Diamond Law Library's European Human Rights System and the European Court of Human Rights Research Guide.

Major bodies that interpret and apply international human rights law (in particular the European Convention on Human Rights and other regional instruments) include:

Inter-American System

Major bodies that interpret and apply international human rights law (in particular the American Convention on Human Rights and other regional instruments) include:

Truth Commissions and Ad Hoc Tribunals

When viewing the websites switching to the vernacular maybe helpful if you speak the language, it may include information not translated into English.


Las Comisiones de la Verdad en America Latina (National Commission on the Disappeared)
For more information see commission’s report:
Nunca más: the report of the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, in association with Index on Censorship, London, 1986. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 Ar3715


Las Comisiones de la Verdad en America Latina (National Commission on the Disappeared)


Special Tribunal for Cambodia: Documentation Center of Cambodiais an NGO that provides information on the Khmer Rouge regime and is a resource center for those who wish to pursue legal redress for the crimes committed between 1975 and 1979.
Cambodian Genocide Program Yale University website providing access to documents, translations, maps, books and research papers on the genocide as well as a rich archive on the Khmer Rouge regime's security police, the Santebal.
Another NGO website monitoring the establishment of the tribunal with links to articles, Global Policy Forum.
For more information see report by the National Reconciliation after the Khmer Rouge project team:
National reconciliation after the Khmer Rouge. Report on NGO Activities Related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. Phnom Penh : Center for Advanced Study, 2006. Cellar, Cam 844 N213 2006


The Case Against Hissène Habré (Human Rights Watch): HRW monitor on the Chad commission includes cases and press releases.
Commission of Inquiry into the Crimes and Misappropriations Committed by Ex-President Habré: Chad: Truth Commissions: Library and Links: U.S. Institute of Peace: decree establishing the commission


Las Comisiones de la Verdad en America Latina (National Commission on the Disappeared)
For more information see commission’s report:
Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. Notre Dame: Published in cooperation with the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Notre Dame Law School, by the University of Notre Dame Press, 1993. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 C4375 1993.
Also available online through the United States Institute of Peace: Chile: Reports: Truth Commissions: Library & Links: U.S. Institute of Peace

East Timor

Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor


Declaration and articles available in Spanish, Presidencia de la República - Política

El Salvador

See commission’s report:
From madness to hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador: report of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador. New York, N.Y.: United Nations, Security Council, 1993. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 Sa3921 1993
Also available online through the United States Institute of Peace: El Salvador: Truth Commissions


Reconciliation and Unity Commission Report of the Sector Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Order on the Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill 2005
Draft of the proposed Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill published in the Fiji Times


Collections on Nuremberg:
Avalon Project Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Yale Law School.
Nazi War Crimes Interagency Working Group, National Archives.
Nuremberg Trials Project, Harvard Law School.
Telford Taylor Papers, Columbia Law School.


National Truth and Justice Commission


Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Sierra Leone

The Special Court for Sierra Leone
Consolidated Legal Texts for the Special Court for Sierra Leone by Charles Jalloh. Leiden, The; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007. 4th Fl, KZ6310 .J35 2007.

South Africa

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Other Resources:

For a list of truth commissions and their website, see the United States Institute of Peace.

For more information on truth commissions in general see, a collaboration between the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Search for Common Ground (an international NGO based in Washington, D.C.), and the European Centre for Common Ground (in Brussels). The site provides a great bibliography.

Global war crimes tribunal collection. Nijmegen, : Global Law Association; Holmes Beach, Fla. : Gaunt [distributor], c1997- 3rd Fl Reserve, JX6731.W3 R51 1997

How to find country-specific information

Foreign law : current sources of codes and basic legislation in jurisdictions of the world
Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, 2000- 3rd Fl Ref, K38 .R49 1989. Also available electronically. An invaluable guide to official and commercial print and electronic sources of legislation and jurisprudence with references to English translations.
Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys
Ardsley-on-Hudson, NY: Transnational Juris Publications, Inc., 1991-. 3rd Fl Ref, Comp 077 G317. A good starting point of research for nonspecialists.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
These reports are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress. The reports are available online and in print.

For more information on electronic sources for finding foreign law, see Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet

For a Selective List of Guides to Foreign Law, see List of Guides to Foreign Legal Research

Sources for Practitioners


Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys 
Ardsley-on-Hudson, NY: Transnational Juris Publications, Inc., 1991-. 3rd Fl Ref, Comp 077 G317
A good starting point of research for nonspecialists.
Guide to international human rights practice
Ardsley, N.Y. : Transnational Publishers, 4th ed. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 G936 2004
Each chapter is written by an expert in the field that spanning the UN, Inter-American, European, and the African human rights systems as well as other forums. The appendixes are most valuable with a bibliographic essay, checklists for selecting appropriate forum, IGO addresses, ratification information and citations for major human rights instruments.
Funding Human Rights: An International Directory of Funding Organizations & Human Rights Awards, 3rd ed.
3rd Fl Reference, JX4263.P3 F962 1999
This directory is a joint project of Human Rights Internet and International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. 98 funders are listed in four different categories of foundations and charitable trusts, governmental development agencies, non-governmental development organizations, and IGOs. Also included is information on 56 human rights awards. Entries include contact information, size and number of grants, program areas, and contact information.
The Handbook of Human Rights Investigation: A Comprehensive Guide to the Investigation and Documentation of Violent Human Rights Abuses
Northborough, MA: Human Rights Press, 2001. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 G899 2001
Provides a set of standards and procedures on documenting human rights abuses.
The Human Rights Handbook: A Practical Guide to Monitoring Human Rights
Capetown: Juta, 1997. 3rd Fl Reference, JX4263.P3 En36 1997
This handbook is a practical guide to monitoring civil and political rights for those persons working in the field. It contains the essential human rights law texts and guidelines on working practice. It focuses on how to operate on the frontline of human rights work in two contexts: how to monitor, investigate and report human rights violations in a repressive state (chapter 4), and how to monitor human rights and foster awareness in a State emerging into multiparty democracy (chapter 5). Included are chapters on how to set up a human rights network, international reporting and complaints procedures and how to use them.
Economic, Social, and Cultural rights: Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions
New York: United Nations, 2005. 4th Fl, JC571.E35 2005
This handbook can be adapted into a trainer’s guide for national human rights institutions. It is composed of three main sections: section one provides a summary of state obligations to promote and protect various rights under international and domestic law; section two examines the role of human rights institutions, their mandate, power and functions; section three focuses on practical strategies for national human rights institutions to work on promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights.
Essential Texts on Human Rights for the Police: A Compilation of International Instruments
The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2001. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 Es74 2001
Identifies human rights instruments essential to police work. Intended to be used in human rights education and training programs for police and other officials exercising police powers.
How to Complain to the UN Human Rights Treaty System
Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers; New York: Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations and the Shoresh Charitable Trust, 2002. 2nd Fl, JX1977.H9 B34 2002
Written for individuals seeking to apply for relief to a UN Treaty body. A bit dated but still useful work; refer to the author’s website for more current information.
Human Rights Handbook for Practicing Journalists
Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe: Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa, 2003. 4th Fl, JC599.A366 H84 2003
A handy and concise reference work, with sections on monitoring and enforcement mechanisms (section 2); promotion, protection and advocacy (section 3); rights of marginalized groups – women, children, and the disabled (section 4); rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS (section 5).
International Criminal Practice: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Court, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the East Timor Special Panel for Serious Crimes, war crimes prosecutions in Kosovo, 3rd ed.
Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2003. 2nd Fl, JX6731.I5 J718 2003
This third edition is a thematic presentation of international criminal practice; this is the practice of international criminal courts and tribunals. It is an essential source that synthesizes procedure and substance including jurisprudence and rules. An expansive index and bibliography are also included.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a Guide for Teachers
Paris: UNESCO, 1953. 2nd Fl, JX1976.E2 T65 no.8
One of the booklets in a series published by UNESCO offering suggestions for teaching about human rights in a classroom setting.

Online Sources

International Human Rights Funders Group
The International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) is an association of grantmakers. The Group works to promote the exchange of information and collaboration among grantmakers; improve the use, reach and effectiveness of existing resources; expand resources to meet the growing needs of the field; and help other funders to explore the added value of a human rights approach. The site includes a public and searchable Funders Directory, which contains information on funding, grants, and human rights support around the world.
Anne F. Bayefsky is a professor at York University, Toronto, Canada. The site is designed to enhance the implementation of the human rights legal standards of the United Nations. The website provides a wide array of information on the application of the UN human rights treaty system by its monitoring treaty bodies.

Secondary Sources


To locate books on human rights in the various catalogs available to the members of the Columbia University campus, try the various subject searches in the following catalogs:

Columbia Law Library Catalog - Pegasus
Human rights
Human rights advocacy
Children's rights
Civil rights
Social rights
Truth commissions
Women's rights
Columbia University Libraries Catalog - CLIO
Human rights
Human rights advocacy
Human rights [country]

For sources on Human Rights through Columbia University, see the Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs: Information Resources


  • Human rights
  • International human rights
  • [country] human rights
  • Try subject searches in other languages for example:
    • Derechos Humanos (Spanish)
    • Droit de l’homme (French)
    • Menschenrechte (German)
    • Diritti dell’uomo (Italian)



Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Mountain View, Calif.: Research Libraries Group
This index provides access to legal literature published worldwide since 1985 covering all forms of foreign (non-Anglo-American) law including journal articles, congress reports, essay collections, yearbooks, and book reviews.
Index to Legal Periodicals & Books
Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co.
This is a bibliographic database that indexes books and cites articles from law reviews, bar association journals, university publications, yearbooks, institutes, and government publications from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. It covers all areas of jurisprudence, including recent court decisions, new legislation, and original scholarship.
Detroit, Mich.: Thomson Gale.
Indexes major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals from English-speaking countries, along with law-related articles from business and general interest titles.
PAIS International
New York, N.Y.: Public Affairs Information Service.
Indexes articles, books, conference proceedings, government documents, book chapters, and statistical directories in the area of public affairs. Topics include international relations, environment, health, law and legislation, political science, public administration, education, and statistics.

Selective List of Human Rights Journals

African human rights law journal. Lansdowne [South Africa]: Juta Law, 2001. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 Af833, HeinOnline
Asia-Pacific journal on human rights and the law. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2000. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX4263.P3 As426, HeinOnline
Columbia human rights law review. New York, N.Y.: Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 1972. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, P C725, HeinOnline
European human rights law review. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1995. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 Eu74
Harvard human rights journal. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law School, 1990. 2nd Fl, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX4263.P3 H261, HeinOnline
Human rights: a quarterly review of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Geneva: The Office, 1997. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 H8804
Human rights law journal : HRLJ. Kehl am Rhein [West Germany]; Arlington [Va.]: N.P. Engel, 1980. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 H883
Human Rights Quarterly. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981. 3rd Fl Reserve, Comp 908.1 Un351, HeinOnline
Journal of human rights. London: Carfax Pub., 2002. Cellar & 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 J825
The international journal of human rights. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 1997. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 In838
International journal on minority and group rights. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1997. Cellar, 3rd Fl Reserve, JX1 In8121, HeinOnline
Muslim World Journal of Human Rights. Berkeley, CA : Berkeley Electronic Press, 2004.
Yale human rights & development law journal. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Law School, 1999. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 Y12

Subject-Specific Sources


Children's rights.
Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Dartmouth, 2004. Cellar, Comp 332 C437 2004.
This is a two-volume compilation of essays on general philosophical and practical issues concerning children’s rights. A good source for those conducting scholarly research on children’s rights.
The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child: an analysis of treaty provisions and implications of U.S. ratification.
Ardsley, N.Y.: Transnational Publishers, 2006. 4th FL, K639 .U65 2006.
This book provides an extensive analysis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United States’ position on the convention.


The Human Rights Handbook: A Global Perspective for Education.
Stoke-on-Trent, UK; Sterling, Va.: Trentham, 2003. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 G42 2003.
A practical text for teachers, students and researchers with minimal background in the human rights field.


Health and Human Rights: A Reader.
New York: Routledge, 1999. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 H3494 1999.
A collection of published articles on health and human rights written for health workers, human rights workers, and others studying the subject.
A Thematic Guide to Documents on Health and Human Rights: Global and Regional Standards Adopted by Intergovernmental Organizations, International Non-Governmental Organizations and Professional Associations
The Hague; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers; Cambridge, MA: Sold and distributed in North, Central and South America by Kluwer Law International, 1998. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 T342 1998.
This volume provides a comprehensive coverage of international human rights standards grouped by subject-matter. Detailed table of contents, chronological listing of all the instruments addressed and a thorough index make this work a great starting point for anyone researching health and human rights.
Health and Human Rights: An International Quarterly Journal.
Boston, Mass.: Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, 1994-.
This quarterly journal examines the effect of human rights violations on health and the impact of health policies on human rights.

Immigrant Rights

The Human Rights of Aliens under International and Comparative law.
Boston: M. Nijhoff Publishers, 2001. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 T436 2001.
This book provides a thorough examination of the treatment of aliens under international law and an analysis of the adoption of these laws by different nations and their implementation into domestic legislation.

Indigenous Group Rights

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights.
New York: Juris Publishing; Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 T393 2002.
A detailed analysis of human rights instruments and principles relating to the rights of indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Human Rights.
Sydney: Sydney Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, 2001. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 In241 2001.
Compilation of essays by scholars on indigenous human rights with a focus on indigenous rights in Australia.
Research Guide - Researching Indigenous Peoples Rights Under International Law

Labor & Employment

Employment Law and Human Rights.
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 G796 2002.
Written for employment law practitioners wanting to know more about employment law and human rights and provide them with a deeper understanding of the relevant ECHR jurisprudence.


Women and International Human Rights Law.
Ardsley, NY: Transnational, 1998-2001. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 W8426 1998.
This is a four-volume treatise on women’s international human rights written by various scholars in the field geared for an academic audience.
Research Guide, University of Toronto - Women's Human Rights in the Context of International Law Research

Bibliographies and Research Guides

  • Guide to Human Rights Research. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Law School, Human Rights Program, 1994. 2nd Fl, JX4263.P3 T554 1994.
    A bit dated but still a useful guide to human rights research with a section dedicated to United States foreign policy.