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Human Rights Law Research Guide: NHRIs & NGOs

National Civil Society Organisations

For human rights agencies, centres and associations in specific countries, see the individual country pages in this guide under the National / Domestic Human Rights tab. 

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI)

National human rights institutions (NHRI) take various forms, but are commonly  human rights commissions or ombudsmen, hybrid institutions, consultative and advisory bodies, and other forms of human rights institutes and centers.  NHRIs are established to promote and protect human rights. NHRIs typically monitor the status of human rights in their country, hear human rights complaints, and educate the public about human rights. NHRIs are increasingly involved at international and regional human rights systems.

See the NHRI page on the International Justice Resource Centre's website for detailed information about the role of NHRIs, and links to international, regional and national NHRIs and other resources.

The United Nations General Assembly established the Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles) in 1993 as a set of criteria for evaluating both NHRIs’ independence from government interference and their effectiveness in promoting and protecting human rights.

Links

Human Rights Documents Online

Human Rights Documents Online (HRDO(UniMelb staff & student access) contains documents from 483 non-governmental human rights organisations (NGOs) worldwide. Some of the documents have a universal scope. Others focus on the attainment of human rights in a specific area of the world.

HRDO will ultimately contain all human rights documents collected by the Human Rights Internet (HRI) in Ottawa in Canada since 1980. 

HURIDOCS

The Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS) was established in 1982. HURIDOCS aims to improve and facilitate information handling capacities of NGOs by developing tools for human rights monitoring and information handling and exchange. The various HURIDOCS tools are available on open access to download from its website. 

HURIDOCS has also developed information tools - such as African Human Rights Caselaw Analyser (see more information on the African page in this Guide) and the Inter-American Human Rights Caselaw Analyser (see more information on the Inter-American page in this Guide). 

The latest HURIDOCS information service is RightDocs - a platform for searching and accessing the UN Human Rights Council resolutions, amendments, votes, reports, and all related documents.. It was developed because of difficulties encountered in finding and utilising Human Rights Council documents. RightDocs automatically collects all aspects of the Council's resolutions, including sponsorships, amendments and subsequent votes. Users can search for documents and narrow searches by eg: topic, State, agenda item, session, and date.