Building community capacity to achieve the human rights of all persons with disabilities


A Practitioner’s Guide to Human Rights Monitoring, Documentation, and Advocacy

The purpose of this manual is to provide step-by-step guidance for advocates who want to use human rights monitoring, documentation, and advocacy in their social justice work. From framing an issue in terms of internationally recognized human rights to submitting a detailed complaint to a human rights body, this manual outlines the process to enable anyone to do this work. The manual is designed to aid advocates undertaking a variety of activities—from the relatively simple to the more complex.


Witness is an on-line global community that uses video and on-line technologies to help expose human rights violations around the world. Provides training to its partner organizations in how to use video to document human rights abuses as part of their advocacy work.

Amnesty International

Works to defend human rights around the world.  Offers an extensive library of documents related to human rights, including many of its own reports on the status of human rights in many different countries. Includes some information related to people with disabilities; try relevant key-word searches such as “disabilities”; “deaf”; etc. This organization also has encouraged campaigns to support the human rights of people with disabilities, such as people with Down’s Syndrome in Russia.

Human Rights Watch

Dedicated to protecting human rights around the world, the Human Rights Watch investigates claims of human rights abuses, exposes them to the world, and helps hold abusers accountable. Has an extensive collection of on-line information and publications about human rights abuses around the world.  See their page on women with disabilities. Has web content in many different languages including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, and more.

Network Learning

This website provides free manuals and other information resources for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in developing countries. A few of its resources are related to disability issues. Many others are generic enough that they may still be helpful to DPOs learning how to do better at running their organization, designing and implementing projects, raising funds, become involved in human rights issues, how to be more inclusive of a wider range of populations, and more.

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is critical to monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. All countries that have ratified the treaty must submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights protected in the CRPD are being implemented in their countries. Under the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, the Committee also may investigate individual complaints about violations of human rights under the CRPD.

Organization of American States

Unites the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Works to strengthen democracy; promote human rights; and confront shared problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs, and corruption. See their page on the Decade of the Americas for the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, 2006-2016, for links to documents on the Latin American Decade, on the CRPD, and on the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against People with Disabilities.

Human Rights Treaties Library

Here, you can find the full text for various human rights treaties around the world. Search by topic area (including disability), or by key word. Or search by country to find out which of the existing international human rights treaties your countries has signed, ratified—or ignored.

Flagship on Education for All and the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities: Towards Inclusion

Created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Flagship works in partnership with other United Nations agencies, international and national disability organizations and donors to promote the inclusion of education rights for people with disabilities in national education plans.

United Nations Enable Website

The front page of the UN Enable website has the latest updates on which countries have signed or ratified the CRPD and the Optional Protocol. The website also has links to the full text of the CRPD in multiple languages; a “Frequently Asked Questions” document about the CRPD, with answers; announcements and press releases; links to information and fact sheets about disability in development; and information about disability-related work throughout the United Nations system.

National Human Rights Institutions Forum

Shares information about, and for, National Human Rights Institutions around the world.  This website offers key global and regional documents on human rights and links to research material, human rights documents, and agencies devoted to human rights.  Individual nation-wide human rights institutions are usually involved with promoting and protecting human rights in their country, including investigation and resolution of human rights complaints.  Many also educate the general public about human rights.  Consult the

International Women’s Rights Action Watch

IWRAW is the primary international non-governmental organization that facilitates the use of human rights treaties to promote women’s human rights and rights within families. Has an on-line collection of reports on the status of human rights for women in countries around the world. They also offer a guide on writing shadow reports on the status of human rights.

International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights

Promotes respect for human rights through the use of law; provides legal expertise to lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, and other partners on international and comparative human rights law. Includes a strategic litigation focus on disability as one part of their work. Their website offers a legal resource library; a database of international human rights legal cases.

Disability Section of Website for Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

This web site can lead readers to information about a range of human rights treaties that touch upon disability issues. Also leads to information about various committees that monitor how well human rights are implemented and what is being done to ensure that disability issues are integrated into OHCHR activities. The web site is available in English, Spanish, and French.

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