Although traditional, paid databases generally contain the most comprehensive collections of journals and other secondary sources, a number of sites provide similar content for free.
Thousands of articles and conference papers on human rights topics are available on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
Search among thousands of human rights student papers, working papers and conference papers available through the bepress Legal Repository.
The Georgetown Law Faculty Working Papers cover a range of legal issues, including international human rights.
The University of Denver’s Human Rights & Human Welfare database contains book reviews, as well as a working paper series on international law topics.
Impunity Watch posts a series of scholarly articles on human rights and international criminal law.
The Harvard Human Rights Journal provides free access to all content.
The Washington College of Law’s Human Rights Brief is an international human rights and humanitarian law journal and is available free online. Request a free print subscription here.
The Human Rights Law Review provides free access to select articles on its website. And occasionally provides free access to a sample issue.
Register for free access to select articles and a sample copy of the International Journal of Transitional Justice.
The Journal of Human Rights Practice provides free access to select articles.
The International Journal of Refugee Law provides free access to select articles, as well as free access to one issue.
The Journal of Conflict and Security Law provides free access to one issue.
The International Journal of Constitutional Law provides free access to one issue and to special issues.
The European Journal of International Law provides free access to one issue.
The Journal of International Dispute Settlement is currently providing free access to its first edition online.
The Journal of International Criminal Justice provides free access to editor’s choice articles and a free sample issue.
Treatises and Research Guides
Although specifically focused on the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence, these excellent legal manuals developed by the London-based organization INTERIGHTS currently cover the following rights:
Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) provides Study Guides on a select number of rights.
HuriSearch allows users to search over 5,000 human rights web sites (principally NGOs, national human rights institutions, and IGOs) simultaneously for press releases, policy statements, state reports and commentary.
The American Society of International Law’s Electronic Information System for International Law provides links to secondary, as well as primary, sources.
UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center has compiled an extensive, if outdated (1998), set of bibliographies on human rights topics.
It can also be worthwhile to browse the article abstracts in the archives of journals such as those published by Oxford University Press for a review of current topics and perspectives. Most journals provide paid access to individual articles without requiring a journal subscription.
Use Google books’ Advanced Book Search to find digitized books on human rights topics.