Other human rights issues

The human rights perspective permeates the whole UN organization. Virtually all United Nations bodies and specialized agencies are involved, to some extent, in the protection of human rights.

The initial focus on civil and political rights and certain economic and social rights is expanding to include global socioeconomic development. This expansive definition of human rights encompasses among others the right to:

  • adequate housing
  • democracy
  • freedom from extreme poverty
  • food
  • clean environment
  • education
  • development

Thematic issues addressed by the Human Rights Council include:

  • the use of mercenaries
  • the independence of judges and lawyers
  • arbitrary detention
  • the rights of internally displaced persons
  • the rights of migrants
  • illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products
  • enforced and involuntary disappearances
  • the effects of economic reform policies and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of human rights.

Human Rights, conventions and declaration

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Last modified: 2021-12-02