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Human Rights

Guide to resources for research in Human Rights issues.

Library Databases

The UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948) defends every human being's inherent worth and dignity; freedom from torture, slavery, and arbitrary arrest; access to fair legal treatment, hearings, and representation in a court of law; a decent, humane, and healthy standard of living; the freedom of movement and assembly; the right to work, and more.

Historic photo of a man holding the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

Additional UN Resources on Human Rights

Finding Human Rights Information on the UN Website

United Nations logo


There are various ways to search the UN website.  Once you've clicked on "welcome" in the appropriate language, you can try one of the following search strategies:

1. Put a search term into the general search box in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

2. Use the buttons on the top of the page: Humanitarian Affairs, International Law, Development, and Human Rights.  All of these have links to major, relevant bodies and themes.

 3. Use the site index, accessible by clicking on the link at the bottom of the screen.  This lets you browse an alphabetical list of subjects to find sections of the website that might contain relevant information you are looking for.

The documents in the UN Official Documents System (ODS) database contains documents originally produced in digital form beginning with  1993, and almost all documents produced since then are included here. This database also has  access to UN Resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards. It does not contain press releases, UN sales publications, the United Nations Treaty Series or information brochures issued by the Department of Public Information

The UN Dag Hammarskjold Library  is more focused on retrospective digitization of official documents produced from 1946 - 1992. These digitized documents are then uploaded to the UN Official Documents System (ODS). 

UN Publications

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