Human Rights Resources Web Links




Children Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
Disability Health
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Government and Human Rights








General Human Rights

  • The Advocates for Human Rights
    The mission of The Advocates for Human Rights is to implement international human rights standards in order to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. By involving volunteers in research, education, and advocacy, The Advocates builds broad constituencies in the United States and selected global communities. 
  • Amnesty International
    A worldwide movement of human rights activists who work together to prevent the violation of people’s rights. Visit their site to learn more about leading human rights issues, sign on to an urgent action, join a campaign, become a member, or volunteer.
  • Discover Human Rights: A Human Rights Approach to Social Justice
    This manual, intended for 
    U.S. social justice advocates, provides concrete steps for integrating international human rights principles into their work. The manual helps frame the issues on which they work in terms of international human rights standards. It also helps advocates identify human rights-based strategies that they can use to ensure these rights are fulfilled for all people. This manual is designed to accompany The Advocates’ training session of Discover Human Rights. It also provides participants with a reference to use in their organizations and communities. Using a participatory methodology, the manual combines short presentations with interactive activities including large group discussions, small group work, and role plays. In addition, the manual incorporates case study examples of best practices drawn from the experiences of social justice organizations around the United States and provides tools such as organizational assessments and implementation models to help organizations create an action plan for using human rights principles in their operations and advocacy work.
  • Enhancing Access to Human Rights
    Issues: Indigenous / Minorities, Migrants / Refugees, Poverty, Women
    This report examines the impediments that obstruct large numbers of people from accessing the full range of human rights. It analyses the performance and responsibilities of governments and other institutions, and identifies new forms of action that official and human rights organizations might need to undertake if access is to be improved.
  • From Poverty to Dignity
    This manual is aimed at facilitators interested in participatory-based teaching methodologies. While the layout of the manual is for a workshop setting, the methods and techniques used can be applied to increase facilitation knowledge and expertise.
  • Key Social Justice Issues and Human Rights at a Glance
    Issues: Children, Health, Migrants / Refugees, Prisoners
    The chart lists five key social justice/human rights issues. For each it lists ways to move forward, as well as strategies that may lead to public backlash.
  • Human Rights Watch   
    Works to defend human rights worldwide. Its website includes information on several human rights issues including women’s rights, child rights, and the right to health. Direct service action is also available through their urgent action campaigns.
  • Human Rights-Based Programming: What It is / How to Do It
    This guide from the United Nations Population Fund provides a basic introduction to human rights-based programming and the various methods of implementation. A good source for a straight-forward initiation into rights-based work.
  • United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights
    The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights is the leader on human rights efforts within the UN. The office’s work has three major objectives: establishing standards for human rights, monitoring human rights, and enforcing standards within countries around the world, particularly by maintaining local partnerships.
  • United Nations Human Rights Page   
    This website provides information on international courts and UN bodies relating to human rights, as well as resources on a range of human rights issues. These resources include background information, important documents, lists of events, and recent news.
  • University of Minnesota Human Rights Library   
    This online database provides a compilation of resources relating to human rights including treaties, important documents, human rights education materials, and links to regional organizations and information about many different issues. The website is also available in Arabic, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish and Korean.

Human Rights Methods

  • ACLU - Activist Toolkit
    The American Civil Liberties Union’s Activist Toolkit provides directions on several ways to take action on human rights. Some of the guides include: “How to call your Members of Congress,” How to meet with elected officials,” Writing an Effective Letter To the Editor,” and much more. Through the use of these guides, one can become a more effective and efficient activist.
  • Amnesty International Campaigning Manual
    This manual has been written primarily for Amnesty International campaigners, yet it is also useful for other human rights organizations. The book is divided into self-contained sections, making it easy to use and enabling activists to photocopy or refer to particular sections as the need arises. It is relevant for newcomers to campaigning as well as veterans. Many of the guiding principles are universally applicable. The guide is also available in Arabic and Spanish.
  • An Introduction to Advocacy: Training Guide
    This training guide introduces the concept of advocacy and provides a framework for developing an advocacy campaign. Although the guide is designed for a workshop setting, it is structured to be used as a self-teaching device as well.
  • Campaigning for Free Expression: A Handbook for Advocates
    A 120-page manual containing a toolbox of tips, best-practice case studies and resources for campaigning on freedom of expression and press freedom. This handbook contains information on developing campaign strategies and tools with each campaign tool supported by a case study.    
  • The Community Toolbox
    The Community Toolbox is a resource based on global health and development. It provides information and guidance on how to improve cities and communities, create plans to build coalitions and implement change, and bring in the resources necessary to sustain community activism.
  • Dignity Counts: a guide to using budget work to advance human rights
    Dignity Counts uses a real-life case study to explore how budget analysis can be used to assess a government’s compliance with its human rights obligations and to arrive at specific, concrete recommendations related to the government’s budgeting and expenditures that, if implemented, would improve the human rights situation.
  • The International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights
    The International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights works to ensure human rights using legal means, particularly through strategic litigation, the tactic of bringing cases to places where there is a threat to human rights laws or the possibility of expanding legal support for human rights. The organization works around the world on cases relating to economic, social, and cultural rights, equality, and the restriction of human rights under the auspices of upholding national security.
  • New Tactics in Human Rights: A Resource For Practitioners
    The handbook details the changes to human rights practices that CVT believes must be made for them to be successful in the future. These tactics, including prevention, intervention, and restorative tactics, are based in tactical mapping.
  • A New Weave of Power, People & Politics: The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation
    Topics: Capacity Building, Education, Lobbying / Legal Reform, Networking / Mobilizing, Participation

    A New Weave of Power, People & Politics provides a well-tested approach for building people’s participation and collective power that goes beyond influencing policy and politics to transforming public decision-making altogether. Based on 25 years of participatory research, community development, neighborhood organizing, legal rights education, and large-scale campaign advocacy experiences worldwide, A New Weave combines concrete and practical action “steps” with a sound theoretical foundation to help users understand the process of people-centered politics from planning to action.
  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Human Rights Monitoring, Documentation, and Advocacy
    This manual provides guidance on how to use a human rights framework to work for social change in the United States. The manual walks practitioners through every step in the human rights documentation process, from establishing the project and objectives to setting up the interviews to writing a report and making recommendations. Each section goes in-depth, posing questions and considerations to readers so they can best structure the process to suit their needs and resources. The manual also helps practitioners plan how to push forward recommendations using strategies from education and lobbying to litigation and international human rights mechanisms. Finally, the manual helps organizations understand how they can use human rights in their work for social change. The Advocates produced this manual at the request of the US Human Rights Network and with funding from the U.S. Human Rights Fund.
  • Train-the-Trainer Manual: Civic Education and Community Mobilization
    This guide aims to advise workshop leaders on how best to foster discussion and learning in an adult workshop. It includes guidance for planning the workshop, encouraging participation, and addressing the importance of grassroots efforts to combat issues like poverty. The manual offers ideas for a variety of activities to use during the workshop.
  • Using International Human Rights Mechanisms and Procedures: An Online Manual for Human Rights Defenders
    This guide describes the mechanisms available for enforcing the rights to life, freedom from torture, a fair trial, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression, an effective remedy, privacy, liberty and security, asylum, and freedom from discrimination. It explains how each of the mechanisms can help activists combat human rights violations. The mechanisms include international courts and commissions created through treaties.
  • What is Stakeholder Involvement?
    This article is a brief explanation of stakeholder involvement, the inclusion of stakeholders in the planning and implementation of the program. Stakeholders are people, organizations and communities who will be affected by a program. Stakeholder involvement ensures that a program will be based on diverse input, and helps to ensure the success of the program.

Issue-specific Resources


  • A Toolkit on Child Rights Programming
    The tool kit investigates Save the Children’s programs through the lens of the CRC, and also describes a five-step process for making a Human Rights Approach program.
  • Training Manual on Child Rights Programming
    The manual is intended to train individuals to institute child rights programming.  It begins with a short overview of the development of human rights and human rights treaties/organizations.  The training then gives a definition and summary of a Human Rights Approach before ending with a section that allows trainees to move through the design of a Human Rights Approach-based child rights program.


  • Human Rights and Disabled Persons: Essays and Relevant Human Rights Instruments
    The United Nations’ Decade of Disabled Persons has served as a time for standard setting in the field of human rights and disability, and has created the need to evaluate the relevant human rights instruments for disabled persons. This unique volume responds to this need by offering a collection of profound essays on the subject of human rights and disability, and an extensive compilation of international and regional human rights instruments, guidelines and principles which are of special relevance to disabled people. It will serve organizations of disabled people as well as governments throughout the world as a resource and as an introduction to human rights and disability.
  • Human Rights. Yes! Action and Advocacy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    A human rights curriculum on the rights of persons with disabilities. This manual-style teaching tool applies an active learning approach and is intended to serve as a major resource for human rights advocates and rights-based development practitioners in their human rights education, advocacy strengthening, and other programs.


  • Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions
    The United Nations released this handbook to help national human rights organizations in their work to achieve economic, social and cultural rights. It begins with a description of these rights and the responsibilities of states to provide them.  It then discusses the role national human rights organizations play in realizing these rights, as well as challenges they face.  The handbook ends with case studies showing how organizations have had success in promoting economic, social, and cultural rights.
  • HAKI ZETU - ESC rights in Practice
    The series has been developed with and is meant for civil society organizations and activists working with local communities in Africa to realise their ESC rights. The Special Program on Africa of the Dutch section of Amnesty International just published a series of four handbooks on economic, social and cultural rights. The series has been developed with and is meant for civil society organizations and activists working with local communities in Africa to realise their ESC rights.
  • Int’l Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
    The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) is a collaborative initiative of groups and individuals from around the world working to secure economic and social justice through human rights. ESCR-Net seeks to strengthen the field of all human rights, with a special focus on economic, social and cultural rights, and further develop the tools for achieving their promotion, protection, and fulfillment.
  • Toolkit for Action for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    Developed by the International NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol, the Toolkit for Action for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides practical guidance to NGOs and other civil society groups, as well as States on their work around the Optional Protocol. The Toolkit aims to facilitate international and national advocacy work for the ratification and the entry into force of the Protocol and the national implementation of economic, social and cultural rights.


  • Manual on Rights-Based Education: Global human rights requirements made simple
    This collaborative project between the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education addresses the human right to education, discrimination, and issues of access in a global context. While internationally based, the manual takes a step-by-step look at the right to education and the human rights instruments that can be used to fulfill it.
  • Transformative Learning and Human Rights Education: Taking a Closer Look
    This article describes the connection between human rights education and transformative learning, the way in which people expand their perspectives to improve their understanding of information they encounter. The article suggests methods through which the transformative learning approach can be incorporated into human rights education, such as focus on critical analysis.


  • The Benefits of a Human Rights-Based Approach: Water and Sanitation
    The summary describes the benefits of using a HHuman Rights Approach (or Human Rights Approach) in addressing issues of water and sanitation, such as the empowerment of people through the legitimization of demands to water and sanitation.  It also describes alterations that must be made to a Human Rights Approach in order to fit the special needs surrounding water and sanitization. One example of this is that organizers must create feelings of ownership in the rights-holders so that the projects can be sustained. 
  • Environmental Protection Agency - Public Involvement
    This site focuses on the activities that the Environmental Protection Agency uses to engage the American people in the Agency’s decision-making processes, but these tools can be adapted to any other rights-based participatory work.


  • Human Rights and Parliaments: Handbook for Members and Staff
    Developed by the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), the handbook is a useful reference tool designed to support MPs and parliamentary staff to ensure that legislation passed is aligned to international human rights conventions and norms. It provides best practice and practical guidance about how MPs and their staff can perform their crucial role in ensuring the legislature upholds the rule of law and human rights.
  • Primer on Parliaments and Human Rights
    This Primer explores how UNDP can enhance the contribution that legislators, parliaments and parliamentary processes make towards the protection, promotion and realization of human rights. It suggests elements for assessing the human rights capacities of parliaments and examines approaches to enhance parliament’s contribution to human rights.


  • Foodfirst Information and Action Network
    FIAN is an NGO dedicated to combating hunger with human rights. The website provides a large collection of publications and information on the right to food.
  • Right to Food
    Site for the former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler that features reports and information on the right to food by Ziegler and the The Research Unit on the Right to Food at the Graduate Institute of International Studies.

  • Right to Food in India Campaign
    An informal network of organizations dedicated to the protection of the right to food in India, based on decisions of the Indian Supreme Court.

  • Right to Food Portal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
    The website provides information on the promotion work done by FAO and its partners on the human right to adequate food, including by using FAO’s Right to Food Guidelines.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
    This website provides information on the mandate, activity and reports of Olivier de Schutter, the independent expert charged with the UN mandate on the right to food.

  • World Food Programme
    The WFP is the world largest humanitarian agency. The website provides information about emergencies but also statistics and information on hunger and malnutrition.


  • Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People
    This document, intended for officials and staff members of the European Union (EU), provides tools and resources to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It seeks to enhance the EU’s capacity to proactively address cases of human rights violations against LGBT people and structural causes behind these violations. Its suggestions may be used in contacts with third countries and with international and civil society organizations.


  • Mainstreaming a human rights based approach to health
    The power point presents a view of how a Human Rights Approach can be used to address global health issues.  In doing so, it addresses the UN’s view of Human Rights Approachs, steps that must be taken to institute a Human Rights Approach, and the benefits of doing so.
  • Mobilizing Communities on Young People’s Health and Rights: An Advocacy Training Guide
    This training guide helps program managers strengthen the advocacy skills of youth groups and other community-based partners in planning and implementing strong and effective advocacy campaigns. This practical training curriculum provides an introduction to advocacy and takes participants through the steps involved in defining goals and objectives, developing effective messages and activities, and monitoring and evaluating an advocacy campaign.
  • Physicians for Human Rights
    Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all. Their website has a free activist toolkit in their resources section to help create more effective activism around the issue of the right to health.


  • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
    The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation is an Ontario-based non-profit human rights organization that promotes human rights in housing and challenges discrimination. CERA works to remove the barriers that keep disadvantaged individuals and families from accessing and retaining the housing they need. CERA has become a world leader in using both domestic and international human rights law to address issues of homelessness and poverty. We work collaboratively with non-governmental organizations in Canada and in other countries to promote and enforce economic and social rights.
  • Center on Housing Rights and Evictions
    The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit human rights organisation whose mission is to ensure the full enjoyment of the human right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere.
  • Human Rights Approach in the Simon Communities of Ireland Discussion Document
    The document discusses the importance of a Human Rights Approach to the poverty and homelessness programs of the organization. In doing so, it addresses the need of involving individuals in pursuing their own rights and in critiquing the organization’s policies to make sure it is not hindering the pursuit of rights.
  • Housing and Human Rights in Context
    The power point presentation is about viewing access to housing as a human right.  Specific case studies are used, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and segregation in Seattle and St. Louis.  Most case studies begin by presenting the relevant international human rights treaties. 
  • Manual on International Law and the Human Right to Adequate Housing
    The manual provides basic information about international and domestic right to housing laws, and also shows how housing rights are related to other human rights, such as women’s rights.  In addition, the manual presents four activities that can aid in housing rights work in the United States.


  • International Labour Migration: A Rights-Based Approach
    This study examines trends in international labor migration, its impacts on origin and destination countries, and conditions of work experienced by migrant workers. The study also explores how standards can be used in the formulation and implementation of migration policies and practices.
  • Energy of a Nation
    An online immigration resource center of The Advocates for Human Rights, providing accurate, up-to-date information and resources for educators, advocates, and community members through fact sheets, curricula, quizzes, action alerts, policy updates, and immigration-related news and events.


  • Poverty inequality and human rights: Do human rights make a difference?This report was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), an organization focuses on addressing social issues in the UK, in order to investigate how a Human Rights Approach (or Rights Based Approach) could best be used to address poverty in the UK.  The report first discusses how a Human Rights Approach has been used internationally by duty-bearers to address issues of poverty, then describes how this approach has been used thus far in the UK. It ends with how the JRF hopes to use this approach in the future.
  • From Poverty to Dignity
    This manual is aimed at facilitators interested in participatory-based teaching methodologies. While the layout of the manual is for a workshop setting, the methods and techniques used can be applied to increase facilitation knowledge and expertise.


  • Budgeting for Women’s Rights: Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW
    This publication elaborates on how budgets and budget policy making processes can be monitored for compliance with human rights standards, in particular with the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Combining substantive analysis with country examples, the publication explores how a rights-based budget analysis can be applied to public expenditure, public revenue, macroeconomics of the budget, and budget decision-making. In the context of discussions on aid effectiveness, direct budget support, and accountability, Budgeting for Women’s Rights is of particular relevance.
  • Gender Responsive Budgeting
    Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) initiatives seek to create enabling policy frameworks, build capacity and strengthen monitoring mechanisms to support accountability to women. This website provides governments, non-governmental organizations, parliaments and academics with resources for understanding and applying GRB.
  • Stop Violence Against Women
    The Stop Violence Against Women website (STOPVAW), a project of The Advocates for Human Rights, is a forum for information, advocacy and change in the promotion of women's human rights around the world.