United Nations Human Rights Bibliography

United Nations human rights publications are a key part of the Organization's efforts to promote a culture of human rights around the world. In recent years, the Organization's multimedia programme in human rights has been greatly enhanced by the new medium of the Internet. Below are some of the main references and resources currently available to the public. UN human rights publications are available in all or some of the official languages of the United Nations, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish (A/E/C/F/R/S), as indicated below.

United Nations Publications may be ordered from:

United Nations Publications, Room DC2-0853, New York, N.Y. 10017, USA Tel.: (212) 963-8302,
(800) 253-9646. Fax: (212) 963-3489. E-mail: publications@un.org.
Internet: www.un.org/Pubs/Sales.

United Nations Bookshop, Tel.: (212) 963-7680, Fax: (212) 963-3489

For Europe, Africa and the Middle East: UN Publications, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. Tel.: (41 22) 917-0027. E-mail: unpubli@unog.ch.

Reference Materials

Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UN/DPI. 44 pages. Sales No. GV.97.0.25. ISBN: 92-1-100760-7. $19.50. E. This book contains the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, illustrated by the painter William Wilson. The Declaration is a historic instrument portrayed here with the colours of life and the power of art. With a note by Ms. Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Basic Facts About the United Nations. 1998 edition. UN/DPI. New York. 350 pages. Sales No. E.98.I.20. ISBN: 92-1-100793-3. $10. E/F/S. This book provides a general introduction to the role and functions of the United Nations and its related agencies, highlighting and outlining the main objectives and achievements of the Organization.

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments. Volume 1. UN/DPI. 950 pages. Sales No. E.94.XIV.1. ISBN: 92-1-154099-2. $50. E/F.

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments. Regional Instruments. Volume 2. 496 pages. Sales No. 97.XIV.1. ISBN: 92-1-154124-7.$45. E. A two-volume set that constitutes a comprehensive catalogue of the existing human rights instruments adopted at both international and regional levels. This compilation contributes to a wider knowledge and increased awareness of human rights standards. It is a valuable source for all those interested in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The United Nations and Human Rights 1945-1995. United Nations Blue Books Series, Vol. VII. UN/DPI. 1996. 536 pages. Sales No. E.95.I.21. ISBN: 92-1-100560-4. $29.95. E/F/S. This book provides an encyclopedic account of the work of the United Nations in the field of human rights. It serves to illuminate the Organization's campaign for human rights and its multifaceted role as fact-finder, monitor, adviser, forum of appeal and global conscience.

United Nations Action in the Field of Human Rights. 417 pages. Sales No. E.94.XIV.11. ISBN: 92-1-154107-7. $80. E/F. The standard United Nations reference work in the field of human rights, it presents a detailed summary of developments relating to human rights within the United Nations system.

United Nations Reference Guide in the Field of Human Rights. 124 pages. Sales No. E.93.XIV.4. ISBN: 92-1-154097-6. $25. E/F. The reference guide is designed as a simple and practical research tool. It consists of materials published by the United Nations on all human rights. It also covers institutional aspects concerning the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as other organizations active in the field of human rights.

Human Rights: Status of International Instruments. Chart of ratifications as of 30 June 1998. 12 pages. Sales No. 87.XIV.2. Rev.17. ISBN: 92-1-154063. $5. E. This booklet is the sixteenth updated revision and contains details of ratifications and signatures by each Member State for each international human rights convention and other instruments.

Yearbook of the United Nations. 1995. Vol. 49. UN/DPI. 1,615 pages. Sales No. E.96.I.1. ISBN: 90-411-0376-6. $150. E. Published annually in a single volume, the Yearbook is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference book on all aspects of the work of the United Nations system. It is designed to provide government offices, libraries and the research community with detailed and factual accounts of United Nations activities during a given calendar year.


Human Rights: A Quarterly Review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. OHCHR Geneva. ISSN 1020-6507. Multilingual.

UN Chronicle. UN/DPI. $8. (one-year subscription: $20.). E/F. Quarterly magazine of the United Nations covering current developments in the UN system.

Thematic Series

Human Rights Fact Sheets

The Human Rights Fact Sheet series, published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights A/C/E/F/R/S, deals with selected questions that are of particular interest. They are intended to assist an ever-wider audience in better understanding basic human rights, what the United Nations is doing to promote and protect them, and the international machinery available to help realize those rights. The Fact Sheets, distributed free of charge, are available on-line at www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/fact.htm.

No. 1 Human Rights Machinery (under revision)

No. 2 The International Bill of Human Rights

No. 3 Advisory Services and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights

No. 4 Methods of Combating Torture

No. 5 Programme of Action for the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (under revision)

No. 6 Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

No. 7 Communications Procedures (revision pending)

No. 8 World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights (under revision)

No. 9 The Rights of Indigenous Peoples

No. 10 The Rights of the Child

No. 11 Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions

No. 12 The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

No. 13 International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

No.14 Contemporary Forms of Slavery

No. 15 Civil and Political Rights: The Human Rights Committee (under revision)

No. 16 The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

No. 17 The Committee against Torture

No. 18 Minority Rights

No. 19 National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

No. 20 Human Rights and Refugees

No. 21 The Human Right to Adequate Housing

No. 22 Discrimination against Women: The Convention and the Committee

No. 23 Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children

No. 24 The Rights of Migrant Workers

No. 25 Forced Evictions and Human Rights

Human Rights Study Series

The Human Rights Study Series features studies and reports on important issues prepared by experts of the Commission on Human Rights and the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. Material contained in these publications may be freely quoted or reprinted provided credit is given and a copy of the publication containing the reprinted material is sent to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

No. 1 Right to Adequate Food as a Human Right. 73 pages. Sales No. E.89.XIV.2. ISBN: 92-1-154075-5. $9. A/C/E/F/R/S. Focusing on the basic premise that everyone has the right to food, this book presents the views of an international group of scholars on the economic, social and legal implications of this vitally important world problem.

No. 2 Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. 75 pages. Sales No. E.89.XIV.3. ISBN: 92-1-154076-3. $15. A/C/E/F/R/S. This report includes information on manifestations of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief in the contemporary world, attempts to identify the causes of these manifestations and proposes recommendations as to what measures can be taken to combat this problem.

No. 3 Human Rights and Pretrial Detention: Handbook of International Standards Relating to Pretrial Detention. 54 pages. Sales No. 94.XIV.6. ISBN: 92-1-154106-9. $16. E/R/S.

No. 4 Status of the Individual and Contemporary International Law: Promotion, Protection and Restoration of Human Rights at National, Regional and International Levels. 68 pages. Sales No. E.91.XIV.3. ISBN: 92-1-154084-4. $30. A/C/E/F. This study states that "The individual is a bearer of international rights and responsibilities". It is hoped that this study will contribute to new developments concerning the status of the individual in the field of contemporary international law.

No. 5 The Rights of Persons Belonging to Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. 114 pages. Sales No. E.91.XIV.2. ISBN: 92-1-154083-6. $25. A/C/E/F. Focusing on Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, this report of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities examines in depth the problem of the juridical treatment of minorities.

No. 6 Human Rights and Disabled Persons. 43 pages. Sales No. E.92.XIV.4 & Corr.1. ISBN: 92-1-154090-9. $20.C/E/F/R/S. This publication is a thorough international study on the relationship between human rights and disability. Based on relevant international instruments and reports by Governments, non-governmental organizations and disability experts worldwide, it covers the following areas: legal issues; factors causing disability, particularly violation of human rights and humanitarian law; prejudices and discrimination; national and international policies to eradicate violations; and public information and education.

No. 7 The Right to Adequate Housing. Report of the Special Rapporteur. 52 pages. Sales No. E.96.XIV.3. ISBN: 92-1-154120-4. $20. C/E/F/R. A publication that responds to the urgent problem of the global housing crisis.

No. 8 Sexual Exploitation of Children. 44 pages. Sales No. E.96.XIV.7. ISBN: 92-1-154123-9. $25.E. This study analyses sustainable strategies that tackle the underlying factors in child sexual exploitation. It emphasizes the importance of education programmes and mobilization plans to be organized at all levels and in all communities.

No. 9 Compilation and Analysis of Legal Norms Pertaining to Internally Displaced Persons. Sales No. E.97.XIV.2. ISBN 92-1-154125-5. $25. E. (forthcoming)

No. 10 Protection of the Heritage of Indigenous People. 40 pages. Sales No. E.97.XIV.3. ISBN 92-1-154126-3. $20. A/C/E/F/R/S. For indigenous peoples the world over, the protection of cultural and intellectual property has taken on growing importamce and urgency. This publication provides a basis for appropriate standard-setting by international bodies, as well as a number of specific institutional measures to provide indigenous peoples with some immediate relief from the widespread and growing threats to the integrity of their cultural, spiritual, artistic, religious and scientific traditions.

Human Rights Year (1998) Basic Information Kits

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is publishing a series of basic information kits on issues of particular interest. These kits, available in English, French and Spanish, can be downloaded on-line at www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/pubs.htm.

No. 1 1998: 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (June 1997)

No. 2 Women's Rights: The Responsibility of All (November 1997)

No. 3 Children's Rights: Creating a Culture of Human Rights (March 1998)

No. 4 Human Rights Education (forthcoming)

No. 5 Human Rights Defenders (forthcoming)

Selected Topics

ABC: Teaching Human Rights. 1990. 56 pages. Sales No. E.90.I.5. ISBN: 92-1-100430-6. $5. A/C/E/F/R/S. Basic information for teachers in primary and secondary schools who want to foster awareness and knowledge of human rights and the sense of reciprocity and universality upon which it is based; includes some practical activities.

HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: International Guidelines. 1998. 72 pages. Sales No. 98.XIV.1. ISBN: 92-1-154130-1. $15. A/C/E/F/R/S. The guidelines provide an important means for supporting both human rights and public health. They offer concrete measures that could be taken to protect human rights and health where HIV/AIDS is concerned. The Guidelines cover three broad areas, government's responsibility, laws and legal support services and private-sector and community participation.

Human Rights and Legal Status of Women in the Asian and Pacific Region. 1998. Studies on Women in Development Series, No.1. 74 pages. Sales No. 97.II.F.31. ISBN: 92-1-119768-6. $25. E. These studies on the Asian and the Pacific region focus on three main areas: the reception of the general normative standards on gender equality in international law in national constitutions and international monitoring; limitation of constitutional approaches and the relevance of substantive and domestic laws; and the special problems of women and violence.

Integrating Human Rights with Sustainable Human Development. 1998. 44 pages. Sales No. E.98.III.B.10. ISBN: 92-1-126087-6. $7.50. E. This study aims at promoting a wide discussion and a broad awareness of the links between human rights and development. It discusses human rights and their implications for sustainable human development, presenting UNDP's support for human rights and its implementation strategies.

Manual on Human Rights Reporting. 1997. HR/PUB/91 (Rev.1). Sales No. GV.E.97.0.16. ISBN 92-1-100752-6. E. (forthcoming in R/S).

Professional Training Series

The Professional Training series consists of handbooks and manuals intended to increase awareness of international human rights standards and is directed at a specific target audience selected for its ability to influence the human rights situation at the national level. These publications can also serve as practical tools for those organizations involved in human rights education with professional groups.

No. 1 Human Rights and Social Work: A Manual for Schools of Social Work and the Social Work Profession. $16.00. Sales No. E.94.XIV.4. A/E/R/S. Prepared as a collaborative venture by the Centre for Human Rights and two non-governmental organizations, the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work, its purpose is to promote awareness and understanding among this important professional group of all aspects of human rights and the international mechanisms that have been developed to protect those rights.

No. 2 Human Rights and Elections: A Handbook on the Legal, Technical and Human Rights Aspects of Elections. $16.00. Sales No. E.94.XIV.5. A/E/F/R/S. A comprehensive presentation of basic international human rights principles relating to free and fair elections and the right to take part in government, the publication is expected to be a practical tool for Governments, non-governmental organizations, teachers and individuals involved in elections.

No. 3 Human Rights and Pre-Trial Detention: Handbook of International Standards Relating to Pre-Trial Detention. $16.00. Sales No. E.94.XIV.6. E/R/S. This handbook was developed to increase awareness of the international standards which exist in the area of pre-trial detention, as well as of interpretative material relating to those standards. It provides practical guidelines for implementation of the standards, based on the views of experts and the experience of countries in regard to pre-trial detention.

No. 4 National Human Rights Institutions: A Handbook on the Establishment and Strengthening of National Institutions for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. $16.00. Sales No. E.95.XIV.2. E/R/S. The handbook provides a summary of the various purposes for which a human rights institution may be established, an overview of elements necessary for its effective functioning and a detailed analysis of the various responsibilities with which such institutions may appropriately be entrusted. Practical assistance in the process is given in the form of legislative examples applicable to particular purposes, elements or responsibilities.

No. 5 Human Rights and Law Enforcement: A Manual on Human Rights Training for the Police. $16.00. Sales No. E.96.XIV.5. ISBN 92-1-154121-2. E. This manual is one component of a three-part package of materials for human rights training for police. The Manual provides in-depth information on sources, systems and standards for human rights in law enforcement, along with practical guidance, and annexed international instruments.

No. 5/ International Human Rights Standards for Law Enforcement: A Pocket Book on . Add. 1 Human Rights for the Police. $6.00. Sales No. E.96.XIV.6. E. This booklet provides a readily accessible and portable reference for all police committed to the lawful and humane performance of their vital functions in a democratic society. It contains hundreds of relevant standards, reduced to common language and point form and drawn from more than 30 international sources.

Audiovisual Materials

A variety of audiovisual materials produced by the United Nations and other organizations of the United Nations system are available for purchase, rent or loan from distributors, libraries and some United Nations offices. A copy of the United Nations film catalogue can be obtained from United Nations information centres or from the Department of Public Information, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA. A list of videos is available on-line (www.un.org/av).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1990. 21 min. This is an animated video of children's drawings depicting each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Narrated in English, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Key to Freedom: Women and Literacy. 1990. 28 min. E/F/S. This documentary, presented by Germaine Greer, features women in Mali, Thailand, Costa Rica and New York for whom literacy is making a difference and shows projects that advance literacy for women, while being responsive to their immediate needs.

About the United Nations: Rights of the Child. 1991. 16 min. E/F/S. The film shows the state of the world's children and how the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1989, set standards to help guarantee children a right to life, liberty, a name, a nationality, an education and good health.

New Horizons for Human Rights. 1991. 27 min. A/E/F/S. In our changing world, new concerns are emerging in the field of human rights. Environmental degradation emphasizes an urgent need to protect people's health. Indigenous populations are demanding that their age-old rights be respected. New standards and definitions are being forged on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This film includes footage from Cameroon, Chernobyl in Ukraine, aboriginal communities in central Australia, and Medellin in Colombia.

A Common Goal. 1994. 14 min. A/C/E/F/R/S. Using a children's soccer game as a metaphor, the film takes a unique approach to introduce the wide range of United Nations activities to 8- to 12-year-old children. Illustrative footage from around the world is used to explain concepts such as peacekeeping and human rights, as well as the activities of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Defying the Odds. 1995. 29 min. A/E/F/S. This documentary takes viewers on a journey through the lives of four women of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Other UN system publications available on-line

Refugees Magazine. Quarterly magazine published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (www.unicc.org/unhcr/pubs/pubs.htm).

Human Development Report. United Nations Development Programme (www.undp.org/hdro).

The State of the World's Children. United Nations Children's Fund (www.unicef.org/sowc98).

The Progress of Nations. United Nations Children's Fund (www.unicef.org/pon98)

UN Resources on the Web

United Nations (www.un.org). The United Nations website contains all the information related to United Nations activities, as well as international documents and a special human rights topic search guide. Among the various resources, a broad section is dedicated to the issue of human rights.

High Commissioner for Human Rights (www.unhchr.ch). The website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, is the most important source of information in this field, including programmes, documents, statements and publications. It also offers related links within the United Nations system.

Map of the United Nations System (www.un.org/search/map). An interactive map with links to all homepages of all United Nations programmes and specialized agencies.

WomenWatch (www.un.org/womenwatch). The United Nations gateway for the advancement and empowerment of women is a joint initiative of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (www.unicef.org)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (www.undp.org)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (www.unhcr.ch)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (www.unesco.org)

International Labour Organization (ILO) (www.ilo.org)

Background information on selected topics

General information (www.un.org/rights/geninfo.html):

Human rights issues (www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/hrissues.htm)

International human rights instruments (www.unhchr.ch/html/intlinst.htm)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_udhr.htm)

UN human rights documents (www.unhchr.ch/html/otherdoc.htm)

Children's rights (www.un.org/rights/dpi1765e.htm)

Human rights and cultural diversity (www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm)

Impact of armed conflict on children (www.un.org/rights/introduc.htm)

Independence of the judiciary (www.un.org/rights/dpi1837e.htm)

United Nations and human rights (www.un.org/rights/dpi1774e.htm)

Women and violence (www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm)

UN Search Engines

United Nations Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) (www.un.org/Depts/dhl/unique/index.html)

Search for reports by UN human rights bodies, Special Rapporteurs and countries.

United Nations Documentation Research Guide (www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/spechr.htm)

Search for special topic: human rights.

UNHCHR Website Search Engine (www.unhchr.ch/search.htm)

Search for United Nations human rights documents.

UNHCHR Treaty Bodies Database (www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf)

Search for international human rights treaties information and reports.