Familiar Tools, Emerging Issues: Adapting traditional human rights monitoring to emerging issues

Author: The Advocates for Human Rights' Deputy Director Jennifer Prestholdt
Date: 2004

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, The Advocates has monitored human rights conditions and produced more than 50 reports documenting human rights practices in more than 25 countries. The Advocates uses traditional human rights monitoring methods to document human rights abuses, but has made a practice of adapting the methodology to address cutting-edge human rights issues. The findings described in this document on violence against women in Mexico, Nepal, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States have been published in reports that include an analysis of each country’s legislation related to women’s rights and the local law enforcement system, as well as recommendations on how to bring laws and practice into conformity with international human rights obligations. We have also adapted the methodology used overseas to help us investigate and document the difficulties that refugee and immigrant women in our own community face in obtaining services and protection from domestic violence. In the past decade, The Advocates has adapted its methodology to monitor transitional justice mechanisms and processes in Peru, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.