Documents and publications

How Covid-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective

How Covid-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspectiveAvailable in: English

Throughout the current crisis, the international statistics community has continued to work together, in partnership with national statistical offices and systems around the world to ensure that the best quality data and statistics are available to support decision making during and after the crisis. This report - compiled jointly by 36 international organizations, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) - gives a small flavour of that cooperation.

It provides a snapshot of some of the latest information available on how COVID-19 is affecting different aspects of public and private life, from economic and environmental fluctuations to changes that affect individuals in terms of income, education, employment and a consistent message is clear – this is an unprecedented crisis, and no aspect of our lives is immune, including human rights.

The risk that the pandemic will accentuate existing patterns of human rights violations and discrimination is real. Most of the regions that have a lower proportion of ratified international human rights treaties and independent National Human Rights Institutions witnessed a higher number of killings of human rights defenders, journalists, or trade unionists. These regions also face a higher prevalence of discrimination.

The COVID-19 pandemic tests our human rights resilience and that in every stage of this epidemic – including the recovery – efforts should be made to involve National Human Rights Institutions, civil society, and human rights defenders.

For further information about the CCSA and the publication, visit this page:

Praia Handbook on Governance Statistics

Cover: Praia Handbook on Governance StatisticsAvailable in: English

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) welcomes the publication of the Handbook on Governance Statistics by the Praia City Group established under the auspices of the UN Statistical Commission. OHCHR wishes to recognize Cabo Verde's National Statistics Institute and all the national statistical offices and organizations, including civil society organizations, who participated in or supported the development of the handbook. OHCHR took part in this collective effort, leading in particular the work on the crosscutting chapter on human rights and on the specific chapter on non-discrimination and equality. As underlined in the Handbook, internationally agreed human rights standards provide a common and normative underpinning to the definition of governance statistics, as well as to data governance itself, upholding human rights in data and statistical processes.

OHCHR strongly encourage further cooperation between national statistical offices, national human rights institutions and other relevant stakeholders, including civil society organisations who represent or work with the groups who are left behind. OHCHR plans to continue participating in this effort and engage further in the measurement of civil, cultural, economic, political and social human rights. Better measurement of governance will help achieve the SDGs, and their declared objective to realize human rights for all, without discrimination.

For further information about the Praia City Group and the handbook, visit this page:

A Human Rights Based Approach to Data - Leaving No One Behind in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Guidance Note to Data Collection and Disaggregation

A  Human Rights Based Approach to Data - Leaving No One Behind in the 2030 Agenda  for Sustainable DevelopmentAvailable in: Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish

Policy specialists, statisticians and data scientists working in government or with civil society organizations, as well as development practitioners and human rights advocates should find A Human Rights-Based Approach to Data (HRBAD) particularly timely. It responds to an urgent need to provide practical human rights guidance to data collection and disaggregation in order to leave no-one behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda is to be implemented in a manner consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law. Deciding whether to pursue disaggregation of indicators is not a norm or value-neutral exercise. Given that data collection and disaggregation have associated risks to the enjoyment by data subjects of their fundamental rights, HRBAD has much to offer. It should help bring together relevant data stakeholders and develop communities of practice committed to improve the quality, inclusiveness, relevance and use of data and statistics consistent with international human rights standards, norms and principles.

Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation

Human Rights Indicators guide cover © OHCHR Available in: Arabic English French Russian Spanish

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has published Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation. The publication aims to assist in developing quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure progress in the implementation of international human rights norms and principles.

The Guide describes the conceptual and methodological framework for human rights indicators recommended by international and national human rights mechanisms and used by a growing number of governmental and non-governmental actors. It provides concrete examples of indicators identified for a number of human rights—all originating from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—and other practical tools and illustrations, to support the realization of human rights at all levels.

The Guide will be of interest to human rights advocates as well as policymakers, development practitioners, statisticians and others who are working to make human rights a reality for all.

To download a copy (9.4 MB), click on the cover page.

Download: Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation *
Summary English French Russian Spanish
Complete Guide Arabic English French Russian Spanish
Cover, Foreword, Acknowledgments  Arabic English French Russian Spanish
Contents, Abbreviations and Acronyms Arabic English French Russian Spanish
Introduction Arabic English French Russian Spanish
Chapter 1 - Human rights and indicators: rationale and some concerns Arabic English French RussianSpanish
Chapter 2 - Conceptualizing indicators for human rights Arabic English FrenchRussian Spanish
Chapter 3 – Methodological approaches to human rights indicators Arabic English French RussianSpanish
Chapter 4 – Illustrating the framework: Indicators for some rights Arabic English French Russian Spanish
Chapter 5 – Framework in practice: implementing and monitoring rights Arabic English French Russian Spanish

Annexes, Glossary:
- Metadata sheets on selected indicators
- Databases of United Nations and other international organisations on human rights issues and population groups

Glossary of statistical terms   

Arabic English French Russian Spanish

*/ All documents are in PDF


Report of the Secretary-General on the question of the realization in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights

Existence of independent National Human Rights Institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles - Metadata

Everyone Counts: Ensuring a Response of Official Statistics to Sustainable Development Goals Consistent with Human Rights

Statistical Note on Human Rights, including the Right to Development for the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG)

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation (A/HRC/27/55)
E F R S  A C

Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council -Technical assistance and capacity-building options for integrating human rights into national policies, 24 July 2014 (A/HRC/27/41)

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Economic and Social Council, Geneva 4-29 July 2011 (E/2011/90)

Report on Indicators for Promoting and Monitoring the Implementation of Human Rights (HRI/MC/2008/3)

Report of the Asian Sub-regional Workshop, New Delhi, India, 26-28 July 2007

Report on Indicators for Monitoring Compliance with International Human Rights Instruments (HRI/MC/2006/7)