Travaux Préparatoires, or "preparatory works" are not law, but they are the official documents recording the negotiations, drafting, and discussions that occurred during the process of creating a treaty. Basically, they are the legislative history of treaties and they may be useful in trying to interpret treaty language and intent.
Sometimes, you can get lucky and find the travaux préparatoires on the same database as the treaty's text. Other times, you should look for them assembled in a book.
|Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
|Committee against Torture (CAT)
|Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
|Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
|Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
|Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
|Convention on the Rights of the Child
|Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
|International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
|Human Rights Committee (HCR)
|International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
|Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
|International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
|Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
|Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW)
To find documents from treaty bodies:
Many countries provide for human rights in their national laws. You know how to find U.S. Federal and State statutes about human/civil rights (use Westlaw and Lexis, as you've been doing up until this point!).
Finding the national legislation of other countries is not likely as familiar to you. The hardest part of conducting foreign law research is (1) identifying the source that publishes the legislation and (2) finding an accurate translation of that legislation into English, which is not always possible. Below are some links to get you started. If you need more help, consult this research guide on finding foreign law or ask me!
Books & articles will let you know which intergovernmental organizations work in your topic area. But, below are a couple directories:
Examples of major IGOs in the area of human rights:
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) monitor and document human rights violations. They produce reports and other publications to help you analyze your topic. Most (all?) NGOs have websites that contain recently-produced documents and those are easily found on the web. The key is to know which NGO(s) relate to your topic area. Books and articles will help you identify key organizations, but below are a couple directories:
Examples of major NGOs in the area of human rights:
Country reports document human rights violations and conditions in a particular country. Some major sources for country reports are:
For additional sources of country reports, visit the immigration research guide (U.S. attorneys representing clients through the asylum process must research country conditions to support their clients' arguments for remaining in the U.S.).
The following websites will help you stay current on world events and academic discussions involving foreign & international legal topics. Browse these sources to discover and explore topics that interest you: