UN Treaties - Ratification Status and Reservations
Check any country's human rights and optional protocols treaties' ratification & accession status and reservations in the UN Treaty Collection Status of Treaties database.
See regional and individual country's ratification status of 18 human rights treaties at a glance on the OHCHR's Status of Ratification Interactive Dashboard.
Monitoring Compliance with international human rights obligations - UN, Govt & Civil Society Country Reports
UN Reports on Global Human Rights
Country Reports include information on the latest Universal Periodic Review and the status of the country in relation to UN Charter-based bodies and Treaty bodies.
The UN Universal Human Rights Index provides access to country and region-specific human rights information emanating from international human rights mechanisms in the United Nations system: the Treaty Bodies, the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Index allows users to access and search Treaty Body, Special Procedure and UPR recommendations through several categories: State, right, body, affected person and, for the UPR, the State that made the recommendation, the position of the State under Review, and the session. Several countries can be searched together for comparative purposes.
Civil Society Reports on Global Human Rights
Human Rights Watch annual World Reports
Freedom House's Freedom in the World - an annual study of political rights and civil liberties
Government Reports on Global Human Rights
1) select an annual report from the left-hand menu on the Human Rights Reports page.
2) click on the Build a Report tab on the top menu.
European Union - EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World
UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Annual Reports on Human Rights
Latest UN Global Human Rights News
The purpose of this page
This page aims to provide research tools to:
Finding Worldwide Domestic Human Rights legislation
UNHCR's Refworld legal collection is primarily a tool for disseminating international law relating to refugees and asylum seekers. However, it more generally contains human rights caselaw and instruments. Included in the collection are international instruments relating to human rights and international and national legislation.
Legislationline.org is a free database of national and EU legislation, as well as international norms and standards, on the human rights topics listed below. This database is an excellent starting point for comparative research. To compare countries, choose the topic and then select the jurisdiction you want. Jurisdictions covered are the 57 Member States of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Legislationline.org is produced by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
WARNING: the legislation is not necessarily up to date, or a complete representation of all the human rights instruments in every jurisdiction, so once you find the piece of legislation you want, locate it in its official national legislation website to ensure you have the most up to date information.
Human Rights rankings in the Rule of Law Index
The latest Rule of Law Index from the World Justice Project provides rankings for 102 countries based on their adherence to protection of fundamental human rights. See each country's statistics and ranking here. See the full Rule of Law Index report for all countries here.
The factors taken into account in assessing protection of fundamental rights rank are those established under the Universal Declaration :
Human Rights Cases in Multiple Courts
The following databases can be searched or browsed to find human rights jurisprudence in UN Committees, and regional and domestic courts.
The databases can be searched to find individual decisions, cases in a particular court or cases on a particular topic in multiple courts.
Law reports on subscription databases (available to University of Melbourne staff and students)
Oxford International Law Reports (ORIL)
To find human rights cases in international, regional and domestic courts on ORIL, you can perform an advanced search or browse to human rights cases by selecting 'Subject' from the top blue menu bar, then 'Human Rights' and browsing to the topic using the + signs in the menu on the left, and narrowing the search further by eg: court and keywords.
Butterworths Human Rights Cases ('BHRC') on Lexis Advance (vol 1 1996 to current) is an up to date report series that includes human rights decisions from international, regional and national courts and tribunals that make a significant contribution to the way in which a particular right or freedom is interpreted or applied. It includes cases from the European Court of Human Rights as well as appeal courts from the UK, the Americas, Africa, Australia and New Zealand; the UN Human Rights Committee, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and others.
The International Law Reports on JUSTIS is an up to date report series that contains decisions of international courts and arbitrators as well as judgments of national courts. From the JUSTIS home page, select Cases, then Data Sources. Select All Cases from the dropdown menu, then tick the International Law Reports box. This will open a search screen where you can add information such as parties, headnote, subject etc.
OPEN ACCESS DATABASES
To search Refworld's caselaw collection, choose 'caselaw' from the 'Jurisprudence' tab in the top menu on the Refworld home page. From here you can browse to relevant cases by continually narrowing by court, topic etc.
Alternatively, you can perform an advanced search. Use the 'search tips' page for help in searching.
Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
The CRIN Legal Database contains summaries of judgments from high-level national, regional and international courts around the world on children's rights issues. Each summary explains the background, significance, and CRIN's assessment of the decision's consistency with the CRC. Case summaries also include excerpts from relevant judicial discussions of the CRC and, where possible, links to full text decisions.
Human Rights Law Centre Caselaw Database
Although the focus of this database is cases on the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic), it is useful for finding selected cases in all Australian jurisdictions, in comparator foreign jurisdictions such as the UK, New Zealand, Canada, the US and India, the European Court of Human Rights and UN Committees. Cases can be searched by topic, court / tribunal and jurisdiction. Useful case summaries are provided.
In WorldCourts, keyword searches can be used to search a single court or several courts simultaneously.
Note that WorldCourts can only be used to search international and regional courts, not domestic courts. Note also that WorldCourts has not been updated since 2014.
The Interights Commonwealth and International Human Rights Law Databases provide summaries of significant judicial decisions from Commonwealth countries’ domestic courts, regional human rights bodies, and UN human rights treaty bodies, searchable by keyword. Note that Interights ceased operation in 2014 and the databases do not contain documents published after 2011.
For more information on finding cases in international courts and tribunals, see our International Law Research Guide - cases page.
Finding worldwide cases citing a case
LawCite (open access) will find cases citing your case in all courts in all jurisdictions that have a LII (AustLII, BAILII, SAFLII etc), whether or not your case is itself contained in a LII database.
For example, the UK case of R v Ministry of Defence, Ex p Smith  EWCA Civ 22;  QB 517 (available on BAILLI) has been cited in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the European Court of Human Rights.
The results can be sorted by jurisdiction, date, court or citation. Links are provided to the full text of the citing cases.