Dossiers & Must Reads


Ghandhi, P.R. (ed) Blackstone’s international human rights documents Blackstone Press, 2000

Alfredsson, G. and Eide, A. (eds) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a common standard of achievement
Kluwer, 1999

A very detailed examination of the UDHR, explaining its origins and looking at each article. Contains an extensive bibliography.

Dunne, T. and Wheeler, N.J. Human rights in global politics CUP, 1999
London Reference Collections shelfmark: SPIS.323.HUM

A collection of essays which seek to address the dichotomy between the global acceptance of human rights in theory, and the denial of those rights in practice. Theories of universal human rights are discussed in the first half of the collection; the second deals with the issue of human rights in relation to such groups as women, refugees and the media

Savic, O. The politics of human rights
London Reference Collections shelfmark: SPIS. 323 POL

A view of human rights from the standpoint of political philosophy. Consists of a collection of essays written by influential thinkers, which seek to define human rights as a universal concept, but with particular emphasis on the Yugoslavian experience. Contains extensive notes and a bibliography.

Shelton, D. Remedies in international human rights law

Presents an account of the development of international human rights law and institutions and the procedures used to achieve remedies and redress. Indexed, and with a bibliography.

Johnson, M.G. and Symonides, J. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a history of its creation and implementation 1948-1998
UNESCO, 1998

Published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UDHR, this book looks at the personalities involved in the creation of the declaration, the work involved in its drafting, and its eventual impact, with special emphasis on the contribution of UNESCO. A bibliography of relevant publications put out by each of the principal UN agencies is appended.

Gorman, R.F. and Mihalkanin, E.S. Historical dictionary of human rights and humanitarian organizations

A list of human rights and humanitarian organizations ‘private and governmental, national and international’ including grassroots activists and mainstream institutions. Has a useful introduction which traces the concept of human rights back to its roots, providing a good starting point for research. Includes a detailed bibliography.

Robertson, D. A dictionary of human rights

A collection of texts of the major human rights documents from Magna Carta, 1215 to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. Mainly aimed at “those who are not legal experts and who want to get a quick grasp of basic issues in human rights discourse”.

Lawson, E. [compiled by ] Encyclopedia of human rights Taylor & Francis, 1996 2nd ed.

Provides short bibliographies at the end of each significant entry. Two appendices list international instruments concerned with human rights, and give the status of international human rights conventions. There is also a subject index and a glossary.

Gibson, J.S. Dictionary of international human rights law Scarecrow, 1996

Designed to guide the reader to ‘sources, definitions, landmarks and cross references for 64 rights in international treaties and four “declared” rights’. A brief historical account of each right is also given. Includes a bibliography.

Henkin, L. The age of rights
Columbia University Press, 1990

The idea of human rights has won universal acceptance. However, individual societies may have different concepts of what such rights entail. This book of essays looks at human rights theory in three contexts: on the international scene, in the United States; and “here and there”. The impact of competing ideologies is also explored. Indexed and with bibliographical notes.

Friedman, J.R. and Sherman, M.I. (eds) Human rights: an international and comparative law bibliography
Greenwood, 1985

A multilingual bibliography providing 4,306 citations from world-wide sources in the fields of human rights, international law and comparative law. Organised in two sections: ‘rights’ and ‘institutions’, the bibliography aims to encompass ‘both substantive and procedural’ aspects of the international law of human rights and to provide a wide-ranging comparative perspective. There are author and subject indexes.

Hannom, H. (ed) Guide to international human rights practice Macmillan, 1984

Described in its introduction as a ‘practical guide’ to international human rights practice, this publication consists of a series of essays which attempt a broad overview of aspects of human rights law such as protection through the UN system. The work of other bodies in the field is also scrutinised.

Brownlie, I. Basic documents on human rights Clarendon Press, 1981

Children’s Rights

Children’s rights: reality or rhetoric
International Save the Children Alliance, 2000
London Reference Collections shelfmark: SPIS.323.352

A useful introduction to the subject of children’s rights, setting out the history of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and looking in detail at particular issues such as child soldiers and child labour. Analysis of a number of countries is also made, with an eye to ascertaining progress over the last ten years.

Detrick, S. A commentary on the UN convention on the rights of the child Nijhoff, 1999
Looks in detail at each article of the convention and includes notes on its drafting history. Indexed and with a bibliography

Kilkelly, U. The child and the European convention on human rights Dartmouth, 1999

Presents a detailed thematic examination of the European convention as it relates to children, with examples from case law which are of particular use to legal practitioners. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Convention on the Rights of the Child: 2nd report by the United Kingdom Stationery Office, 1999

A resume of every aspect of government action undertaken by the United Kingdom in fulfilment of the provisions of the Convention to which it is a signatory.

Douglas, G. and Sebba, L. (eds) Children’s rights and traditional values Ashgate, 1998

A book of essays dealing with the conflict inherent in traditional versus international concepts of children’s rights in several cultures, viewed from the legal perspective. Has bibliographical notes

Van Bueren, G. (ed) International documents on children Nijhoff, 1998

Consists of a series of significant texts on children, organised by subject. Protocols, Treaties, Recommendations and Resolutions adopted by international organizations are included, along with other relevant material such as non-binding Declarations. A brief essay setting out the historical framework provides a useful context.

Mower, A.G. Jr. The Convention on the Rights of the Child: international law support for children
Greenwood, 1997

Investigates the background to the drawing up of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comments on its substance and the way in which its provisions have been implemented. The Convention’s prospects are also considered. Indexed and with a bibliography

Freeman, M. (ed) Children’s rights: a comparative perspective

A book of essays, each of which discusses the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to a number of different countries including England, Japan, Russia and Mozambique. With an index.

John, M. (ed) Children in our charge: the child’s right to resources Jessica Kingsley, 1996
London Reference Collections shelfmark: SPIS.323.352

One of a series of volumes dedicated to children’s rights, this publication deals with the issue from several vantage points including those of education, health, and new technology and in the context of various political systems. Indexed, and with bibliographical references.

Verhellen, E. (ed) Monitoring children’s rights
Nijhoff, 1996

A thorough examination of children’s rights progress from every perspective, these essays are written by experts in their fields. The dichotomy between the attention paid to children’s rights legislation and the widespread violation of those rights in practice is identified, and a case made for careful monitoring of the situation at international, regional and sub-national level. Indexed.

LeBlanc, L.L. The convention on the rights of the child: UN lawmaking on human rights
University of Nebraska Press, 1995

Gives a detailed account of the UN Convention, describing its origins and background and offering an account of its drafting and ratification. Definitions of children’s rights are given, as well as details of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its workings. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Van Bueren, G. The international law on the rights of the child Nijhoff, 1995

Looks at all aspects of the rights of the child including definitions, children’s rights in particular circumstances such as juvenile justice, disablement, armed conflict and education, and traces the history of children’s rights through a number of human rights instruments. Indexed and with bibliographical notes.

Rogers, W.S. and Roche, J. Children’s welfare and children’s rights: a practical guide to the law
Hodder, 1994

Examines the whole spectrum of UK child welfare law and how the legal system operates in the wake of the Children Act. Indexed and with a bibliography.


Roulstone, A. Enabling technology: disabled people, work and new technology 1998
Open University Press, 1998

Examines disabled people and their experiences with new technology in the light of attempts to break down the social barriers which prevent them from achieving their potential. Suggests that technology policy should be seen alongside other access issues as a fundamental human rights issue.

Degener, T. and Koster-Dreese, Y. (eds) Human rights and disabled persons: essays and relevant human rights instruments
Nijhoff, 1995

A collection of essays addressing the legal framework which supports the human rights of disabled persons, and presenting all the relevant covenants, rules and instruments.

Doyle, B. Disability, discrimination and equal opportunities: comparative study of the employment rights of disabled persons
Mansel, 1995

Looks at disabled person’s employment rights in Britain, the European Community, the US, Canada and Australia and goes on to assess the way in which disability discrimination operates. Continues with a debate upon how the existing law can be enforced and new laws promulgated. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: report of the Secretary-General [A/49/435]
United Nations, 1994

Reports on the implementation of the programme and the formulation of a long-term strategy for disabled persons.

Despouy, L. Human rights and disabled persons United Nations, 1993

Looks at the legal issues respecting disabled people and the particular problems that face them. National and international responses are scrutinised, and ways to improve the situation and to educate the public are evaluated.

Driedger, D. The last civil rights movement: Disabled Peoples’ International Hurst, 1989

An account of the fight of disabled people for recognition of their rights in the post- war period, and in particular of their attempts at organization on both the national and international level. Contains notes and a bibliography.

Globalization and Technology

Howse, R. and Matua, M. Protecting human rights in a global economy: challenges for the World Trade Organization
Rights & Democracy, 2000

A brief but useful evaluation of how trade liberalisation may affect human rights in the context of the burgeoning global economy and the efforts of the WTO to structure it.

An account of the fight of disabled people for recognition of their rights in the post- war period, and in particular of their attempts at organization on both the national and international level. Contains notes and a bibliography.

Addo, M.K. Human rights standards and the responsibility of transnational corporations
Kluwer, 1999

A thorough investigation of the transnational corporation and its human rights obligations, focusing on codes of ethics in the fields of arms export, tourism and other social issues, and looking at the legal status of large companies and how to regulate them. Case studies provide detailed examples of the potential conflict between commercial activity and human rights. Indexed and with bibliographical notes.

Liberty (ed) Liberating cyberspace: civil liberties, human rights and the Internet 1999
Pluto Press, 1999

A collection of essays which debate the question of free speech and censorship on the internet. Issues of copyright, European regulation policy and women and the internet are specifically addressed. Indexed.

Meyer, W. H. Human rights and international political economy in Third World Companies: multinational corporations, foreign aid and repression
Praeger, 1998

Questions whether corporations violate the rights of people living in the Third World, and how they do so. Foreign investment, and the roles of foreign and multinational corporations are the economic factors scrutinised. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Woodiwiss, A. Globalization, human rights and labour law in Pacific Asia Cambridge University Press, 1998

Described as “the first substantive contribution to a sociology of human rights”, this book looks at cultural values in opposition to human rights, and sets these in the context of transnationalism. Pacific Asia serves as a model, with specific reference to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Indexed and with an extensive bibliography.

Falk, R. On humane governance: towards a new global politics Polity Press,1995

This book postulates a movement towards ‘geogovernance’ and questions how this trend can be rendered more humane and people-centred. Indexed, and with bibliographical notes

Mahoney, K.E. and Mahoney, P. Human rights in the 21st century: a global challenge
Nijhoff, 1993

A substantial volume with contributions by many writers on a variety of human rights topics including mass communications, development and women’s issues. It stresses the “interdependence of legal, social, economic and environmental problems which transcend national and international boundaries” and goes on to suggest a number of solutions. Indexed and with some bibliographical notes.

Weeramantry, C.G. (ed) The impact of technology on human rights: global case- studies
UN University Press, 1993

A collection of essays which look at the impact upon society of recent advances in technology and their implications for human rights in a number of countries, including Ethiopia, Thailand and Poland. Contains bibliographical notes.

Defending the earth: abuses of human rights and the environment Human Rights Watch, 1992

Provides numerous examples, taken from the world-wide media, of abuses of the environment and upon the rights of those peoples attempting to draw attention to them.

Weeramantry, C.G. (ed) Human rights and scientific and technological development
United Nations University, 1990

Essays commissioned by the United Nations University which look at the potential threats to human rights caused by scientific and technological advance such as, for example, medical experimentation, electronic intrusion into privacy and destruction of the environment. The issues are seen both specifically, and from the global perspective, and the response of the international community is debated. Contains bibliographies and bibliographical notes.


Cherry, M.J. (ed) Persons and their bodies: rights, responsibilities, relationships Kluwer, 1999

A collection of essays which view the body from a philosophical standpoint, and which seek to establish rights and responsibilities in the context of bioethics. Indexed, with notes and bibliographies.

McLean, S. Old law, new medicine: medical ethics and human rights, Rivers Oram, 1999

Deals with human rights in relation to reproduction and abortion; and also with such issues as infant disablement and treatment of the dying. Indexed, and with bibliographical notes.

Alfredsson, G. and Tomasevski, K. (eds) A thematic guide to documents on health and human rights
Nijhoff, 1998

Contains the texts of human rights health standards, grouped according to subject and covering such issues as public health, HIV/AIDS, protection against health hazards, and access to health care. Extensively indexed, and with a chronological listing of documents

Gostin, L.O. and Lazzarini, Z. Human rights and public health in the AIDS pandemic
Oxford University Press, 1997

The relationship between human rights and HIV/AIDS is a complex one. This book looks at the threat posed to affected persons by measures taken in the name of public health, and also investigates the vulnerability to infection of groups such as women and children in circumstances where their basic human rights are inadequately protected. A number of case studies illustrate potential dilemmas. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Brody, E. Biomedical technology and human rights Dartmouth, 1993

Examines health and its relationship to international human rights. Among the issues discussed are aspects of reproductive technology, gene manipulation, euthanasia and transplantation. The second chapter provides a useful discussion of attitudes to human rights in the culture of science and technology. Indexed and with a bibliography

Sieghart, P. AIDS and human rights: a UK perspective British Medical Association Foundation for AIDS, 1989 London

A basic introduction to the issues involved in the conflict of interest between halting the spread of AIDS, and human rights. Indexed, and with bibliographical notes.


Havemann, P. (ed) Indigenous people’s rights in Australia, Canada & New Zealand
OUP, 1999

A collection of essays which examine many aspects of indigenous rights in these countries, including the setting up and administering of mechanisms to achieve the desired changes, the history of such attempts and the politicising of injustices. Indexed and with an excellent bibliography.

Richards, D.A.J. Identity and the case for gay rights: race, gender, religion as analogies
University of Chicago Press, 1999

A sociological analysis exploring the issue of gay identity in the context of precedents involving race, gender and religious toleration. Argues for the adoption of antisexist principles and ‘free moral personality’. Includes an index and a bibliography.

Guiraudon, V. International human rights norms and their incorporation: the protection of aliens in Europe

European University Institute, European Forum, 1998 (EUI working paper EUF. no.98/4)

Miller, D.H. Freedom to differ: the shaping of the gay and lesbian struggle for civil rights
New York University Press, 1998

An account of a number of specific events in the US political arena which demonstrate the difficulties experienced by gay men and lesbians in achieving civil rights. The author identifies the complex prejudices underlying discrimination and challenges the exclusion of such groups from the ordinary rights of citizenship. Indexed and with a bibliography

Poulter, S. Ethnicity, law and human rights
Clarendon, 1998

The ethnically heterogeneous character of modern nations ensures that minority rights form an increasingly important item on the political agenda. This book surveys the situation in the UK from religious, legal and cultural perspectives, citing the experiences of groups such as Gypsies and Sikhs. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Akermark, A.S. Justifications of minority protection in international law Kluwer Law International, 1997

A legal view of minority rights, setting out a theoretical framework from the origins of minority rights in the League of Nations to its development under the UN, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Contains an index and a bibliography

Cholewinski, R. Migrant workers in international human rights law Clarendon, 1997

Migrant workers have traditionally received less protection from the international community than refugees. This book looks at the various types of relevant legislation at the national and international level, and provides a detailed case study which looks at migrant workers and their families in Europe. Indexed and with an extensive bibliography.

de Villiers, B. (ed) The rights of indigenous peoples: a quest for coexistence HSRC, 1997

Essays examining the rights of indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia and in a number of African states, and focussing particularly on the efforts the traditional leaders of these communities must face in choosing the best way forward. The contributors are all natives of the countries discussed, enabling them to speak with “inside” authority. With bibliographical notes.

Shapiro, I. and Kymlicka, W. Ethnicity and group rights New York University Press, 1997

Essays exploring ethnicity and group rights from a number of viewpoints, looking firstly at the idea of toleration and going on to discuss the legal processes and distinctions involved. The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion are then described in a selection of countries, and also in the context of gay politics. Indexed and with bibliographical notes.

de Varennes, F. Language, minorities and human rights Nijhoff, 1996

Language can be a ‘signalling point’ identifying those who are “different”. This book looks at state and international approaches to language and freedom of expression and demonstrates how these can result in human rights infringements. An appendix lists relevant declarations and instruments, and other legal documentation. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Opalski, M. and Dutkiewicz, P. (eds) Ethnic minority rights in Central Eastern Europe
Canadian Human Rights Foundation, 1996

A collection of articles surveying the ethnic minorities in the countries of the region concerned, giving a brief demographic and historical account of their situation, and evaluating their existing rights. Indexed.

Esman, M.J. and Telhami, S. International organizations and ethnic conflict Cornell University Press, 1995

Essays which look at the role of international organizations after the second world war, specifically with regard to their interventions in Lebanon and Yugoslavia. Although not principally concerned with human rights, the book looks carefully at the way in which the prevailing norm of the inviolability of state sovereignty conflicts with the needs of ethnic minorities. Indexed and with a bibliography

Poulter, S. Ethnicity, law and human rights
Clarendon, 1998

The ethnically heterogeneous character of modern nations ensures that minority rights form an increasingly important item on the political agenda. This book surveys the situation in the UK from religious, legal and cultural perspectives, citing the experiences of groups such as Gypsies and Sikhs. Indexed and with a bibliography.

Rupesinghe, K. Ethnic conflict and human rights
UN University, 1994

Comprises papers from an international seminar focusing on ethnic conflict and its impact on human rights and conflict resolution. Northern Ireland, South Africa, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka are the principal areas discussed. Has bibliographical notes.

Deng, F.M. Protecting the dispossessed: a challenge for the international community
Brookings Institution, 1993

Deals with the plight of internally displaced persons. Looks in detail at the situations in Yugoslavia, Russia, Somalia, The Sudan, El Salvador and Cambodia and considers the appropriateness of the international response.

Rupesinghe, K. and Verstappen, B. Ethnic conflict and human rights in Sri Lanka: an annotated bibliography Volume 1
Zell, for the International Peace Research Institute, 1989

A very substantial annotated bibliography which tackles all aspects of human rights in the region, including the effects of Sinhala and Tamil nationalism, freedom of the person and speech, legislation and collective violence. Has author, subject and geographical indexes. Rupesinghe, K., Verstappen, B. and Philip, A.S . Volume 2: 1989-1992 Zell, 1993

Crawford, J. (ed) The rights of peoples
Clarendon, 1992

This volume of essays makes a distinction between the rights of groups and those of individuals and questions how far the needs of both reinforce or are incompatible with each other. Among the topics covered are the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural rights, and the status of group rights in international law. Has an index and an excellent bibliography.

Thornberry, Dr.P. Minorities and human rights law Minority Rights Group, 1991

A basic but useful introduction to the topic of minority rights, set in the context of human rights law. Has a brief bibliography

International journal on minority and group rights 1997-


Korey, W. NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Macmillan, 1998
An in-depth study of the role of nongovernmental organizations and their involvement in human rights, from their beginnings in the aftermath of the Second World War to their current concerns.

Power, J. Amnesty International: the human rights story McGraw-Hill, 1981

An account of the creation of Amnesty International and its attempts to counter human rights abuses in a number of countries, including Tanzania and the USSR. Indexed.


Kaushal, R. Women and human rights in India
Kaveri Books, 2000

A brief study which addresses the plight of large numbers of Indian women, detailing the human rights violations suffered by them despite existing constitutional provisions and guarantees. Includes the texts of relevant legislation. Indexed and with a short bibliography.

Fenster, T. (ed) Gender, planning and human rights Routledge, 1999

This collection of essays looks at human rights from an unusual perspective, arguing that violations of women’s rights stem from their lack of freedom to “move in space” due to physical and emotional imprisonment within the home. Case studies provide examples in the developed and the developing world, and focus upon how the planning process is crucial to women’s progress. Indexed and with bibliographical notes.

Iyer, S. The struggle to be human: women’s human rights 2000 Books for Change, 1999

An account – with numerous examples – of human rights violations against women in India.

Petchesky, R.P. and Judd, K. (eds) Negotiating reproductive rights: women’s perspectives across countries and cultures
Zed, 1998

The concept of reproductive and sexual rights has different meanings for women according to their circumstances. This collection of essays looks at a number of communities in the developing countries, investigating such issues as patriarchal attitudes and traditions, and the impact on women’s reproductive choices of modernisation and sexual taboos. Based on group and individual interviews.

Afkhami, M. (ed) Faith and freedom: women’s human rights in the Muslim world
Tauris, 1995

A collection of essays which scrutinise aspects of women’s human rights experience in a number of Muslim states and which discuss and document the politics of gender in these societies and the efforts of women’s groups to gain a voice. Indexed and with bibliographical references.

Alfredsson, G. and Tomasevski, K. (eds) A thematic guide to documents on the human rights of women
Nijhoff, 1995

A collection of legal texts grouped together according to subject-matter. A detailed index, with references to allied international instruments reinforces the thematic approach.

Cook, R.J. Women’s health and human rights

As the foreword makes clear, this is ‘a lawyer’s view of women’s health’ rather than that of a medical practitioner. The book takes a close look at international human rights treaties, with an eye to their implications for women’s health in those countries which have signed up to them. Has bibliographical notes.