Useful sources for researching human rights conditions include the reports generated by inter-governmental monitoring bodies, individual governments, and NGOs.
Universal Periodic Review
The process of Universal Periodic Review carried out by the UN Human Rights Council, aims to examine the human rights records each UN Member State every four years. The review of each State’s record involves the collection of information from UN bodies, the State, and civil society. In addition to the relevant State’s report and Compilation of UN Information (i.e., rapporteurs’ and UN bodies’ reports on the country), the original submissions by NGOs and others – which form the basis of the Summary of Stakeholder’s Information presented to the Working Group – are available by clicking on the footnote next to the Stakeholders’ summary. See those reports, organized by session or country, here (select the relevant session or country). On the same documentation page for each country review, the Working Group’s report and video of the discussion are also available.
Annual Country Reports
For reports that are potentially more comprehensive and more current, see the following global, annual reports, which are likely the most widely-cited sources regarding human rights conditions around the globe, and provide an overview of each country of concern:
Other Country Reports
The regional human rights monitoring bodies publish reports on country conditions on a periodic or ad hoc basis:
- the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has published at least one Country Report on each COE Member State
- the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reports on conditions of concern in the States features in Chapter 4 of its Annual Reports
- the Inter-American Commission has published a variety of Special Reports and Country Reports on issues of concern region-wide and on worrisome situations in specific countries, respectively
- search for UN treaty body documents (in particular, State reports and Concluding Observations/Comments on State reports), by convention or country, here. Such documents are useful for identifying human rights conditions in a given country, in the thematic areas covered by the treaty bodies.
- the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides a list of human rights issues here. The links lead to descriptive information and to the websites of the UN entities involved in each issue.
- Refworld collects reports and press releases relating to human rights conditions around the world
- Amnesty International indexes its many reports by topic here
- Human Rights Watch publications are also available for download
- the International Committee of the Red Cross summarizes country conditions in the countries in which it operates, in its annual activity reports