Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is an Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in many international and global studies topics. Sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online.


Libraries, Databases, and Directories
Other Sources

Libraries, Databases, and Directories about Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre-- From the Norwegian Refugee Council, a fine resource with coverage of many ongoing situations of conflict-induced internal displacement in the world. Includes thousands of documents, hundreds of maps, country profiles, and analyses of internal displacement at regional and global levels.

International Human Rights Research Guide-- Explains and links the main IGOs (especially the UN), documents, treaties, and more, including by subject matter. Written by Grace M. Mills, Director of the Law Library at Florida A&M University and posted by GlobaLex at the Hauser Global Law School Program, NYU School of Law.

United Nations Human Rights Treaties-- Thorough databank (with texts) and analytical source on UN human rights treaties, accessible by state, theme, or subject matter, from Professor A.F. Bayefsky, York University, Canada, with "a range of data concerning the application of the UN human rights treaty system by its monitoring treaty bodies since their inauguration in the 1970's."

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Other Sources about Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

Amnesty International-- One of the world's largest and most famous international voluntary organizations dealing with human rights and political repression. Their annual "State of the World's Human Rights" report is available online, in addition to many other studies, news reports, facts, and statistics.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the U.S. Department of State, with responsibilities for promoting democracy worldwide, formulating U.S. human rights policies, and coordinating policy in human rights-related labor issues. Many official global and country reports, such as Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, with texts of yearly reports by the U.S. Department of State, and related documents.

Death Penalty Worldwide-- From the Cornell University Law School, analysis of the topic worldwide and database "intended to provide detailed and transparent information regarding the application of the death penalty in law and in practice in every country that retains it."

European Centre for Minority Issues-- NGO that "advances majority-minority relations in the wider Europe through action, research and documentation... supports the stabilization of areas of ethno-political tension and conflict, contributes to the strengthening of relevant legislation and best practices in governance, and enhances the capacity of civil society actors and governments to engage with one another in a constructive way." All reports, working papers, and issue briefs are available online in full-text. Note the Library, "on inter-ethnic relations, minority issues and ethnic conflict in Europe."

European Court of Human Rights-- "The only truly judicial organ established by the European Convention on Human Rights... [ensuring], in the last instance, that contracting states observe their obligations under the Convention... All of the Court's judgments, and a significant selection of decisions and reports, are published [online] in the HUDOC database... The Press Service has compiled factsheets by theme on the Court’s case-law and pending cases," plus country profiles and statistics.

Freedom House-- Many online studies ranking countries on measures of freedom, informative backgrounders, and other publications are offered by this nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization dedicated to promoting democracy around the world. Note especially their extensive yearly online report "Freedom in the World."

Global Migration Group-- A U.N. "inter-agency group bringing together heads of agencies to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration." Posts data, documents and reports on the subject.

Global Terrorism Database-- From the University of Maryland, "an open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world," from 1970 onward. "Unlike many other event databases, the GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes more than 170,000 cases." Searchable.

H-Human-Rights-- "Discussion network for scholars, policymakers, authors, historians, and other interested people devoted to the history, analysis, theory, and practice of human rights," a member of H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine.

Human Rights in China-- An NGO founded by overseas Chinese scientists and scholars in March 1989, that  monitors the implementation of international human rights standards in China and carries out human rights advocacy and education among Chinese people inside and outside the country.

Human Rights Watch-- Dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world, by investigating and exposing human rights violations and holding abusers accountable. Many reports online, including their annual World Report.


Integrated Regional Information Networks-- From the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, news and analysis about crises and humanitarian-related situations in developing countries, and global issues, with e-mail alert service.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-- From "one of two bodies in the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights," information on the Commission and about human rights issues in the Western Hemisphere, published as yearly reports, country reports, and in other formats.

International Center for Transitional Justice-- NGO that "assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse [and] works in societies emerging from repressive rule or armed conflict, as well as in established democracies where historical injustices or systemic abuse remain unresolved." Website posts information about the work of the Center, news, and many analytical publications, including the annual report.

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect-- Works to advance Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and to promote concrete policies to better enable governments, regional organizations and the U.N. to protect vulnerable populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Site posts much news and analysis about the R2P concept and specific cases of severe human rights abuse around the world.

International Commission of Jurists-- A leading organization of eminent jurists representative of the different legal systems of the world and "dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights."

International Committee of the Red Cross-- This site incorporates much on human rights issues, especially the War and Law and International Humanitarian Law Database sections, with treaties, documents, national laws, commentaries, and reports.

International Federation of Human Rights Leagues-- Defending human rights since 1922, FIDH is an activist NGO with national league members around the world. News and publications online.

International Labour Organization-- Much information about international labor standards and conditions. Note the following databases-- NATLEX: Database of national laws on labor, social security, and related human rights;  NORMLEX: Database of International Labour Standards and National Laws; and LABORSTA: Labour Statistics Database operated by the ILO Bureau of Statistics. Labordoc has "references to a wide range of print and electronic publications, including journal articles, from countries around the world, on all aspects of work and sustainable livelihoods, and the work-related aspects of economic and social development and human rights."

International Organization for Migration-- This "leading international organization working with migrants and governments to provide humane responses to migration challenges" posts information about the IGO's structure and work and the full text of many of its analytical and policy publications and conferences on internal and international migration issues.

International Religious Freedom Report-- From the United States Department of State, a report on the condition of religious freedom in countries around the world, prepared annually for the U.S. Congress.

Migration Policy Institute-- "Independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide," with much data and analysis online, including country profiles. Note their Migration Information Source for "fresh thought, authoritative data, and global analysis of international migration and refugee trends... [and] useful tools, vital data, and essential facts on the movement of people worldwide."

Minority Rights Group International-- "Campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard." Facts, figures, and useful analysis in the many types of reports, studies and guides, minority rights law, and the annual State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples report.

Office of Global Women's Issues-- In the U.S. Department of State, this office "works for the political, economic, and social empowerment of women." Site posts news, videos, photos, speeches, and other items on women's issues in the world and U.S. policies and actions.

Open Society Justice Initiative-- This "operational program of the Open Society Institute pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide." Posts news, information, and analysis on this topic, especially regarding developing countries.

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights-- Based in Warsaw, Poland and "active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law." Posts many factsheets, newsletters, reports and documents on such issues.

Refugee Studies Centre-- From Oxford University, "to build knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects of forced migration in order to help improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people." Posts excellent studies on that topic.

Trafficking in Persons Report-- From the United States Department of State, reports on "severe forms of trafficking in persons" worldwide, prepared annually for the U.S. Congress.

U.N. Women-- The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women's site describes the entity's work, and that of others, to promote women's empowerment and gender equality. Posts news and online publications on women's issues around the world, including the biennial "Progress of the World's Women" and the "World Survey on the Role of Women in Development."

U.N. Women Watch is a gateway to UN information and data on women world-wide and an evolving forum on global women's issues, to provide up to date information on the UN's work on behalf of the women of the world, track the global agenda for improving the status of women, and constitute an electronic space for exchange of information and ideas on women's issues.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)-- This U.N. agency "protects children and their rights by providing services and supplies and by helping shape policy agendas and budgets in the best interests of children." UNICEF compiles and publishes information on the situation of children, performance of countries in caring for children, protection of children's rights, and its programs for children. Many publications are online about development as it affects children, such as the annual The State of the World's Children.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-- Publications, documents, treaties, databases, special programs, conferences, links.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-- Very comprehensive source on the topic and the UN's role, with access to statistics, maps, reports, and documents. Note the Population Statistics Database.

United Nations "Protect Human Rights" Guide-- Master page for explanations and links to U.N. agencies and documents on Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, and related topics. Note IRIN, "the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs," with related news from world regions.

U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom-- "Created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress." Site posts annual reports, regional and country assessments, policy briefs, and more.

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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: