Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)
SIM's documentation centre has built up a unique collection of documents and case-law concerning an extensive range of human rights issues. The collection comprises, inter alia, academic publications, documents from intergovernmental organizations, and documents from non-governmental organizations. In addition, the SIM collection includes (hand)books, bibliographies, reference books and periodicals. Most documents are in English. In February 2013 the collection (called 'International Human Rights') is relocated to UB Binnenstad (Drift 27).
SIM has several databases through which the collection is made accessible to the public. The databases are helpful in locating books, articles, reports, cases and treaties in the documentation centre, or as of 2013 the human rights collection in UB Binnenstad (Drift 27). SIM also offers fulltext databases, which contain the full texts of documents. The databases are online available on the SIM Documentation site. Helpfiles are also available on this site.
Searching and browsing
You can browse through a database by using the various categories which you can find at the left-hand side of the screen (e.g. By Author, By Title, By Country). Click on one of the categories and on a red triangle on the right-hand side to expand a letter. Click on 'next' at the bottom of the screen to view more of the list.
You can also search the databases: click on 'search this database'. The databases can be searched by using the simple full text search method, or the more sophisticated field search. A database consists of records, and a record consists of fields; these fields contain various segments of information. In principle, it is possible to search in all fields. One can also search by means of the Bolean search method. The three Bolean operators are: AND, OR and AND NOT. (Note: all keywords are in English.)
A number of the SIM databases is indicated down below, with a short description of their contents.
The BOOKS database contains bibliographical descriptions of books and reports, available in the documentation centre, or as of 2013 in the international human rights collection of UB Binnenstad (Drift 27). Furthermore, it includes summaries of articles from a limited selection of periodicals (e.g. Human Rights Quarterly, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, International Journal of Human Rights, NJCM-Bulletin).
Through the database ECHR, all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights are made accessible. In addition to a number of fields, this database also contains a summary of the judgments published after 1986. Most of these summaries are also published in the Human Rights News section of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Recent summaries are taken from the press releases of the Council of Europe.
CCPR, CERD, CAT and CEDAW
The databases CCPR, CERD, CAT and CEDAW contain the case-law of the:
- Human Rights Committee under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil an Political Rights
- Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination under article 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Committee Against Torture under article 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
The database UNCOM contains the concluding comments (concluding observations) of the United Nations treaty bodies: the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Committee Against Torture (CAT), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), in the context of the country reports. In addition to a number of fields, this database contains the full-text versions of the comments.
The General Comments are included in the databases CCPR, CERD, CAT and CEDAW, and are also accessible in a seperate database. This database contains the general comments (general recommendations) of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee Against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In addition to a number of fields, this database contains the fulltext versions of the comments/recommendations.
The ICTR database contains the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The ICTR database is part of the International Criminal Tribunals Database Project, which is an initiative of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights and the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, both part of the Faculty of Law of Utrecht University. The Project was born in response to the growing demand for available and accessible decisions of international criminal tribunals. Helptext
RATIF contains data with regard to the signature, ratification and entry into force of the major UN human rights instruments as well as regional human rights instruments and the additional protocols. It also comprises information with respect to the acceptance of additional compentences (such as the submission of inter-State complaints, article 41 CCPR). It is possible to search by treaty and by country. The database also includes the texts of reservations, declarations and objections of the various countries.
Since 1984, SIM receives official documents from the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (till 1995), as well as from the various treaty bodies. The UN allocates a unique number to each document, by means of which these UN documents are categorized in files. By searching the database UNDOC, it is possible to locate all relevant documents by topic or country. UNDOC contains bibliographical data on all UN documents available at SIM obtained after 31 December 1991. This database is not available online.
For more information on the documentation centre you can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
* European Court of Human Rights
* UNHCR Refworld
* Amnesty International (country) reports
* Human Rights Watch (country) reports
* U.S. Department of State country reports 1993-1999
* U.S. Department of State country reports 1999-....