Listed below are some of the most important inter-governmental organizations whose work includes the promotion and protection of human rights through the drafting of treaties and other international legal instruments. Most of these IGOs also monitor compliance with international human rights instruments and/or adjudicate claims tha arise thereunder, either directly or through one or more autonomous subsidiary entities.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) is a unique institution (neither an IGO nor an NGO) based in Switzerland, which has a mandate to protect the victims of international and internal armed conflicts under the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.
The ICRC's website provides access to the most comprehensive online collection of primary materials on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which governs the conduct of armed conflict and aims to protect those not participating in the hostilities. Highlights of this invaluable online resource include:
Listed below are some of the most prominent non-governmental organizations devoted to protecting a broad range of human rights in countries throughout the world. In addition to engaging in advocacy, these organizations also produce credible research and reports on human rights issues and abuses.
In addition to the well-known NGOs listed above, there are hundreds of others that focus on human rights generally or on specific issues related to human rights. Some of these NGOs operate on a worldwide basis, while others are regional or national in scope. Some NGOs focus primarily on advocacy, while others are actively engaged in monitoring and documenting human rights abuses. Use the tools described below to help you identify NGOs that focus on human rights.