UN human rights materials

If you are completely new to UN human rights documentation, the good place to start will be the Human Rights section of the UN Documents Research Guide prepared by the UN Library in New York.

Please contact the library at OHCHR-library@un.org if you need further assistance or training.

The following databases and catalogues can be searched to retrieve UN documents or information on human rights.

UN databases


Universal Human Rights Index
Documents of treaty bodies, special procedures and ad hoc

Charter-basedbodies database
Documents of charter-based bodies

Treaty-based bodies database
Documents of treaty-based bodies

ODS – Official Document System
Official UN documents

UN Treaties Collection
International instruments,  status of ratifications

UN Yearbook
Detailed overview of UN activities from 1946

Audiovisual Library of International Law
Procedural history, status of ratifications, etc. of international instruments

Jurisprudence emanating from the United Nations Treaty Bodies which receive and consider complaints from individuals

Library catalogues

OHCHR Library catalogue (Geneva)
UNOG Library catalogue (Geneva)
UN Library catalogue (New York)
RERO Explore (Library Network of Western Switzerland)
For items located in Geneva that are not available at the OHCHR Library.
Specific groups (in French) may borrow books directly. OHCHR staff may request an ILL through the OHCHR Library.

HR Council Plenary

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré


Access to classified records

Access to classified records may be granted on request on certain conditions. For more information, read this explanatory one-pager (PDF)

Contact information

Tel.: +41 22 928 9790
Fax: +41 22 928 9065
E-mail: OHCHR-library@un.org

Postal address:
8-14 Avenue de la Paix, CH-1211
Geneva 10