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Human rights monitoring

Last edited: December 20, 2011

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Human rights monitoring is a specific tool that can be used in an appraisal of the impact of a situation on the human rights of individuals. Human rights monitoring seeks to gather information about the human rights situation in a country or region over time through readily available methods, with the goal of engaging in advocacy to address human rights violations. It also involves a process of documenting human rights violations and practices so that the information can be categorized, verified, and used effectively. Human rights monitoring is sometimes called fact-finding. Fact-finding consists of investigating a specific incident or allegation of human rights violations, collecting or finding a set of facts that proves or disproves that the incident occurred and how it occurred, and verifying allegations or rumors.

Human rights monitoring related to violence against women and girls has been a feature of justice reform in the formal sector for several decades. Groups have designed programmes to monitor criminal and civil cases, as well as other practices, that relate to violence against women. Resulting reports about how police and court practices match with international human rights standards have been effectively used for advocacy purposes in a number of settings.

There are a number of ways to monitor human rights including by using government mechanisms, international mechanisms and through non-governmental organizations and human rights organizations.

For an example of a human rights report, see: Implementation of the Bulgarian Law on Domestic Violence (The Advocates for Human Rights and the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, 2008). Available in English.