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Penn Libraries News

New Resources for the Interdisciplinary Study of Human Rights

The Penn Libraries now provides online access to two of the most comprehensive databases for human rights research.

Two people hold up a yellow Amnesty International banner that reads, "In Solidarity Uphold Human Rights."

A lack of access to clean water, refugees fleeing repressive authoritarian regimes, and calls for LGBTQ equality. Each of these diverse issues involves questions of human rights. Penn scholars from various disciplinary perspectives — most prominently from international law, history, philosophy, and international relations — produce vital scholarship focused on this topic. The Penn Libraries now provides online access to two of the most comprehensive databases for human rights research: Human Rights Documents Online and Amnesty International Archives: A Global Movement for Human Rights.

Human Rights Documents Online provides access to more than 76,000 documents from human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as Arab Organization for Human Rights, Central American Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, Association of African Women for Research and Development, World Health Organization (WHO), and nearly 700 others worldwide. The database covers over 300 subject areas.  

The Amnesty International Archives, covering 1961 to 1991, provides a wealth of historical human rights material. It offers information on the history of political events, global social change, and human rights violations, and includes materials from campaigns with themes like the abolition of torture, state violence, political prisoners, minority rights, and more. Amnesty International remains one of the most prominent international human rights organizations dedicated to researching and advocating for the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide.



November 3, 2023