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LAW 690B - Human Rights Advocacy (Prof. Ludsin, Spring 2024)

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 observations and recommendations by country, mechanism, human rights themes, concerned persons or groups, or by full-text search.

Universal Periodic Review: Review of UN member state human rights records by peer-review, with statements on actions taken to improve human rights situations and fulfill human rights obligations. Find Documentation by Country, National Reports, and Review documents. 

Human Rights Council Special Procedures: Special mandate resolutions and reports by country and theme. There are Special Rapporteurs on themes including promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right to privacy; the human rights of migrants; minority issues; and on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. 

Treaty Body Jurisprudence


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 JURIS database: Use the Advanced Search to search individual complaints from the treaty bodies by treaty body, treaty article, state, or keyword.

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

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

Oxford Reports on International Law provides full-text of decisions of international courts, domestic courts deciding issues of international law, and jurisprudence of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. Browse by subject areas or by jurisdiction, both countries and courts. The database is also searchable, including within results.The Oxford Law Citator provides citations to documents and related citing cases and documents.

United Nations Documents

UN Human Rights Documentation Research GuideGuide with explanations of the UN Charter-based and Treaty-based Bodies and their reports. Explains the document symbols, the types of reports, and the work of the bodies. 

UN General Assembly Documents and Resolutions

Member States on the Record: Dates of UN membership, links to General Debate statements, search for speeches and draft resolutions.

UN Human Rights Council Documents and Resolutions

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. Search options include document symbol (A/RES for General Assembly Resolutions, A/HRC/ for Human Rights Council documents) and subject.

United Nations Digital Library: Search all UN digital publications, including official documents, votes, speeches, and public domain publications. Basic search allows narrowing by resource type and UN body. Advanced search offers additional fields, and search results can be filtered by UN bodies (including the Human Rights bodies) or document types, ranked by relevance, title, or year, and expanded from keyword to full-text searching.

UN iLibrary: Download UN publications in pdf. Advanced search by keyword and by SDG (Sustainable Development Goals).

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