Access Guide to Human Rights Information

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Erken, Elif
Kähler, Lena
Marslev, Kristoffer
Meier, Isabella
Sano, Hans-Otto
Sax, Helmut
Sosa, Lorena
Vivona, Maddalena
Möstl, Markus
Starl, Klaus
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The Access Guide to Human Rights Information is based substantially on the information gathered through interviews with EU officials from the Commission, the Parliament and the Fundamental Rights Agency, reflected in the Baseline Study on Human Rights Indicators in the Context of the European Union, and on the other hand on the workshop results with international experts, held in Graz in April 2015. The common findings were that firstly, EU officials require genuine human rights information for their manifold tasks. Secondly, it was found that the methodology by the OHCHR of indicating the human rights commitments, implementation and situation on the ground is appropriate to satisfy the information needs. Thirdly, it was shown that there is a broad spectrum of existing data and information relevant to human rights. However, the information is not easily accessible for two reasons. One the one hand it requires expertise on human rights and skills for assessment. On the other hand, information resources are scattered and often, while relevant to human rights, not genuinely collected and offered as human rights information. The Access Guide to Human Rights Information therefore aims to provide EU officials with easy-to-access information on existing human rights indicators, human rights related data, as well as human rights compliance information provided by international and regional human rights bodies. For this purpose, the guide briefly discusses the pros and cons of these sources, shows exemplarily how to understand existing information and how to relate it to the normative content of the respective human rights provisions. The Access Guide to Human Rights Information provides the available human rights specific information based on the example of the prohibition of torture, the freedom of expression, the rights of the child, as well as on social indicators. Information sources are structured along a typology derived from the purpose they were processed for. Accordingly, a differentiation is made between the application of the OHCHR- model, compliance information provided by human rights bodies, as well as indicator-based human rights- related information. The Access Guide provides step-by-step guidance on the most effective retrieval and utilisation of existing human rights information based on exemplary research requests.