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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Studies: Rule of Law and Human Rights

Global Studies is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary subject area that explores the concept of globalization and the interrelationships of peoples and states.

About this page

This page contains links to sources for researching legal-political issues and human rights on the international scale.

Policy Research Centers on Rule of Law and Human Rights

  • Center for Reproductive Rights - "For more than 15 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has used the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill."
  • Centre de Estudos e Investigacao Cientifica - "The mission of the Ethics Committee is to foster scientific research and systemic perspective applied in Angola in various fields such as economics, environment, energy, social sciences, history, culture and human rights through scientific research projects, conferences, debates, workshops, and providing consulting services, as well as to increase the research capacity of researchers and members of the faculty of Catholic University of Angola through an international network with other ResearchCentres of high reputation."
  • Centre for Policy Dialogue - "The principal objectives guiding the work of the Centre for Policy Dialogue is to contribute towards people's awareness about policy issues affecting their lives and the future of their country, and to create a national climate for public discussion of important policy issues with a view to building up broad-based support for such policies."
  • Centre for Policy Studies, Johannesburg - Mission Statement: "To provide thought-provoking,innovative, intellectually rigorous research and analysis, promote dialogue and influcence policy on the challenges facing democracy and governance in South Africa, southern Africa and Africa."
  • Centre Forum - CentreForum is an independent, liberal think-tank seeking to develop evidence based policy solutions to the problems facing Britain.
  • Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) - Mission Statement: "[T]o conduct high quality research in order to develop theory and knowledge, inform policy-making and public debate, and engage users of research within the field of migration."
  • Child Rights Information Network - "Guided by our passion for social and legal change, CRIN is building a global network for children's rights. We press for rights, not charity, and advocate for a genuine systemic shift in how governments and societies view children."
  • Cooperation for Peace and Unity "CPAU is working for the promotion of knowledge and awareness of peace, social justice and human rights as the foundation upon which the future development of Afghanistan will be built."
  • Human Rights Watch - "Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world."
  • International Crisis Group - The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.
  • International Labour Organization "The primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity."
  • Minority Rights Group International -"Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard."
  • The Fund for Peace - Mission Statement: "[T]o prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause conflict."
  • Transparency International - Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world.

Departments at UIUC Relating to Rule of Law and Human Rights

  • College of Law Established in 1897, the University of Illinois College of Law is one of the oldest and best-known law schools in the nation. It was one of the small number of charter members and founders of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and was on the first national list of law schools approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Department of ReligionThe Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers students opportunities to study diverse religious traditions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Our curriculum encompasses the study of religion in many different cultures and historical periods as well as the impact of religion in such areas as ethics, politics, literature, intellectual history, and philosophy, and society.
  • Department of Political Science - The Department of Political Science encourages students to acquire a broad understanding of political science and to pursue selected subfields of the discipline in depth.
  • Department of History - "We are History, your gateway to understanding the origins of the globe's grand challenges and the history of efforts to solve them. Here in History we take great pride and pleasure in applying critical analysis to our knowledge of the past."
  • Department of Global Studies - Global Studies is an interdisciplinary program of study that provides a strong foundation in the analysis of contemporary global issues. The requirements of the major enrich, complement, and coordinate departmental offerings with the goals of:

Human Rights

  • Human Rights Index The Human Rights Index for the Arab Countries, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (UNDP-POGAR), is a repository for the entire set of United Nations documents pertaining to human rights and the responses, including reservations, by the Arab member states to the committees that monitor the core international human rights treaties.
  • Human Rights Organizations & ResourcesThis page contains names of human rights organizations, other organizations doing substantial amounts of human rights work, and resources (such as libraries and internet-based information) of use to human rights activists and researchers.

Law, Military and National Security

  • Digital National Security Archive: Digital National Security Archive identifies declassified US government documents through searching or browsing.
  • Hein Online: Hein Online is a database of US law, regulations, foreign relations, international law, treaties and law reports from subscribed government and university library collections.
  • Military and Government Collection: Military and Government Collection identifies publications, research and content on military, security and governance issues worldwide from 1901 – present.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Bulletin: The flagship publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Published since 1959, the IAEA Bulletin features issues influencing the IAEA and global nuclear developments.

Understanding International Legal Systems

  • Constitute: The World's Constitutions to Read, Search, and Compare - A great way to learn about a country's legal system is to look over its constitution. Search the constitution of any country in this handy tool from the University of Richmond.
  • List of National Legal Systems - Wikipedia - This helpful listing from Wikipedia can give you an overview of the legal system of a country.  This could be a jumping-off point to do more in-depth research on your country's system of laws and history.
  • CIA World Factbook - Legal System - This U.S. Government resource has a brief overview of types of legal systems and descriptions, as well as a country by country listing of legal systems.
  • Legal Systems Overview - Now that you've done some background searching about a specific country, you may need to make sense of some of the terminology. From Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, this overview of legal systems can help to define some terms and concepts surrounding constitutions, laws, and legal systems around the world. 

Human Rights Treaties

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Humanitarian Organizations

  • World Food Programme: The largest humanitarian agency fighting world hunger worldwide.
  • World Security Network: An independent global action network for foreign and defense affairs.
  • Human Rights Watch: An independent organization dedicated to protecting human rights.
  • USAID: USAID provides foreign aid.  The website provides information on its initiatives.
  • UN.GIFT - United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking, the largest and most public hub of the UN to work towards combating human trafficking.
  • Amnesty International - International, well-known human rights non-governmental organization with systems of tracking human trafficking and slavery, as well as assistance programs.

Books on this Topic from the CGS Virtual Library

Browse these titles from the Center for Global Studies Virtual Bookshelf, or search the bookshelf yourself to find more!