Report of thirtieth meeting: Lund, 7-8 June 2007

The 30th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) in collaboration with the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London, acting as Secretariat for the meeting. The meeting was held at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund, Sweden.

The Keynote speech was given by Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, who gave a thought-provoking presentation on A fact based world view. The presentation on the political aspects of human rights was illustrated with a demonstration of the Gapminder tool.

Anna Svenson, who works for the Archives of the Municipality of Malmö, gave a presentation on the importance of archives for human rights.

The second day started with a tour of the library of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. Following, Håkan Carlsson, Director of Scientific Communication at Lund University Libraries, gave a presentation on access to scientific information. Damon Rand, Analyst/Programmer from Amnesty International (AI) gave a presentation of AI’s use of wiki technology to record case information on individuals. This was followed by an update on the work of HURIDOCS, by Bert Verstappen. Carin Laurin, Publications Officer at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute presented a new project which identifies indicators to measure the state compliances with human rights laws and norms and Lena Olsson of RWI demonstrated the RWI Human Rights Theme Maps.

There were working groups on the following themes: Torture Thesaurus, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, the Technical Advisory Group and Indexing.

Presentations available:



Report of twenty-ninth meeting: London, 8-9 June 2006

The 29th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, acting as well as Secretariat for the meeting. The meeting was held at the Human Rights Action Centre (Amnesty UK) in London. It was preceded by a tour of the Information Resources Department of the AI International Secretariat.

The meeting included presentations of Oxfam’s new open-source web content management and of the information aspects of the Human Rights Impact Resource Centre (HRIRC), plus a presentation on developments within HURIDOCS, with a demonstration of the new version of the HURISEARCH search engine. These were followed by a tour of the Human Rights Action Centre and a presentations of Statewatch and of the OSCE-ODIHRs information system, website and contacts/activities database. There were meetings of working groups dealing with the Torture thesaurus and training.

Presentations available:



Report of twenty-eight meeting: Warsaw, 16-17 June 2005

The 28th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the OSCE / Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and its Tolerance and non-Discrimination Programme, in collaboration with the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London, acting as Secretariat for the meeting. The meeting was held at the OSCE-ODIHR office in Warsaw, Poland.

From 12 to 15 June, there had been a training on the monitoring and reporting on hate crimes and hate-related incidents, for organisations in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucacus and Central Asia, as well as a Training for Trainers session on documenting violations.

During the meeting, there was an update on developments within HURIDOCS, a presentation on using audio-visual materials in human rights work, an update on RSS and the Semantic web, and presentations of the Human Rights Libraries Search Tool HURLIST and the new database of ODIHR.



Report of twenty-seventh meeting: Venice, 3-4 June 2004

The 27th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), acting as Secretariat for the meeting.

The meeting was preceded by a day of training on 2 June. Three training sessions were offered:

  1. HURIDOCS tools, by Bert Verstappen (HURIDOCS)
  2. Finding human rights information on the Internet, by Saskia Bal (SIM) and Patrick Müller (Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Council of Europe)
  3. Using XML in a human rights context: a working example, by James Lawson (Council of Europe)

The meeting included a report on the training day, a session on the World Wide Web (W3) Consortium and the Semantic Web, by Charles McCathieNevile and an update on developments within HURIDOCS. There were also presentations on Indexing the concluding observations of the CRC and the HUDOC CD-ROM with case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

There were four interest groups covering the future of HURIDOCS, torture documentation, RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds, and Thesauri and indexing.

This was followed by a discussion on the services for users which human rights libraries can provide.

The following presentation is available:



Report of twenty-sixth meeting: Vienna, 22-23 May 2003

The 26th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), Vienna, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), acting as secretariat for the ECCHRD.

The EUMC provided a presentation on documentation work in the field of racism. There was an update on other regional networks and presentations of HURILIST (Human Rights Libraries Search Tool) and the Human Rights Search Engine HURISEARCH.

Four interest groups met and discussed about Torture documentation, (Racism) terminology, Statistics and HURISEARCH – they reported back the next day. This was followed by presentations on developments in HURIDOCS (training, tools, information and outreach, institutional development), on the Martus human rights bulletin system and on access to electronic journals. The meeting also talked about the role and future of the ECCHRD and about the next meeting. There was also a market place with presentations.

The following presentation is available:




Report of twenty-fifth meeting: Geneva, 16-17 May 2002

The 25th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by HURIDOCS and the documentation centre of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) in Utrecht, acting as Secretariat for the meeting.

The meeting was preceded, on May 15th, by several excursions to libraries/documentation centres of United Nations agencies: the International Labour Office (ILO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Office Geneva (UNOG), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The meeting included a presentation on copyright law, with emphasis on those aspects which are interesting for human rights documentation. This was followed by an overview of the various websites maintained by the United Nations system and a presentation on The web, metadata and the Dublin Core.

The second day included presentations on the documentation work of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) and developments within HURIDOCS, as well as an exchange of views with HURIDOCS CC (Board) members on activities in the European region.

Three thematic groups were formed: Torture, including PDN (Psychotrauma Documentation Network); Vulnerable groups, including refugees, children, women; and Database project and Dublin Core. After their meetings, these groups reported back to the plenary session. A final presentation was on the eXtensible Markup Language XML for human rights work.


Report of twenty-fourth meeting: St. Petersburg, 20-21 April 2001

The 24th meeting of the ECCHRD was organised by the Harold and Selma Light Center for Human Rights Advocacy (Light-Center), St. Petersburg in collaboration with Citizen’s Watch, St. Petersburg, and with theInternational Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) in Copenhagen acting as Secretariat for the meeting.

This was the first ECCHRD meeting in the region of the Former Soviet Union, and the first meeting with general participation of representatives from the Newly Independent States and Russia, in particular the Northwestern part of Russia.

The meeting was preceded, on 18 and 19 April, by an Introductory Session for Russian-speaking participants on human rights documentation, by Bert Verstappen, HURIDOCS Secretariat, and a Training Session on the HURIDOCS Bibliographic Standard Formats and the WinISIS software by Ion Iacos and Sven-Erik Baun, IRCT Copenhagen.

The meeting included presentation of the Refworld 2000 CD-ROM and on the theme Electronic publication in the human rights field : access, storage, distribution and copyright problems : exchange of experiences. There was also an interesting discussion on Human rights documentation in Russia : issues and challenges. There were also introductions on the new database of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and on developments in HURIDOCS, and a demonstration on the use of the eXtensible Markup Language XML in the human rights area.

Various thematic networks met and reported back to the Plenary session. They talked about the Psychotrauma Documentation Network, documentation on torture, relations between NGOs and IGOs, and information technology.


Report of twenty-third meeting: Barcelona, 24-25 March 2000

This meeting was organised by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) which served as secretariat of the meeting, and the Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya (IDHC), with the assistance of HURIDOCS.

The meeting included presentation of and reports from thematic networks and Task Forces (refugees/minorities/migration, torture, the Psychotrauma Documentation Network, children, collaboration IGOs/NGOs, client documentation, detention). The Nizkor International Human Rights Team gave a presentation of their organisation and how they used the Internet for human rights documentation and dissemination.

This was followed by reports from separate meetings of Thematic Networks and Task Forces (Torture network). Amnesty International gave a general presentation of the developments in Internet text languages, based on in-house seminars at Amnesty. There was a briefing on human rights developments within the Council of Europe.


Report of twenty-second meeting: Berlin, 19-20 March 1999

This meeting was organised by theInternational Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (Secretariat of the ECCHRD) and the Treatment Centre for Torture Victims (BZFO), with the assistance of HURIDOCS. It was held at the Klinikum Westend, a hospital where the BZFO is based.

It was preceded by a one-day training session on the use of the Internet for human rights work. During this day, Burkhard Luber provided a combination of theory and practice of information management, on-line information retrieval (search tools) and NGO networking, with examples of several useful resources.

The meeting discussed presentations of micro/thematic networks (refugees, minorities, children, women, infodoc centres on the Council of Europe, medical network for social reconstruction in former Yugoslavia, denunciation, torture). There were working groups on conditions in detention, torture and refugees. There was an update on HURIDOCS and the HURIDOCS List of index terms. Further presentations/debates covered Electronic communication and the Internet, and the Future role of information workers.


Report of twenty-first meeting: Bucharest, 20-21February 1998

The meeting was opened by Svend Bitsch Christensen (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, IRCT) who welcomed the participants and presented the organisers: The Romanian Helsinki Committee, the ICAR FoundationHURIDOCS, and IRCT.

The meeting discussed presentations on micro-networks (refugees, torture, children, regional networks), developments within HURIDOCS (Secretariat, Task Forces, tool development, training – including training needs of participants), the HURIDOCS List of index terms, software for library documentation, and the use of electronic communication and Internet (mailing lists, websites, Internet as an information source). A longer debate took place on Training on human rights documentation in Europe – needs and possibilities. Finally, the European input to the upcoming HURIDOCS Conference and General Assembly was prepared. A market place was held.