Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring

By Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights | Go to book overview
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Chapter VII
INFORMATION
GATHERING

Key concepts
Effective human rights monitoring requires an active information-gathering approach by
the HROs.An active information-gathering approach requires:
identifying which problems to pursue
developing contacts
establishing a presence at all levels of the society, generally before a crisis arises
assessing the perspective of contacts
collecting accurate and precise information, through receiving complaints, inquiries
and interviews
verifying information mainly by checking their consistency with independent sources
analysing the information
following-up to encourage authorities to act diligently in responding to the problem,
and reporting.

HROs should be particularly careful in coordinating their information-gathering and
investigative action with criminal investigations conducted by international or national
tribunals, in order not to jeopardize the work of such bodies. The form and ways of such
coordination is a policy issue to be decided by the leadership of the human rights
operation.


A. The information-gathering
process

1. The principal objective of monitoring is to reinforce State responsibility to protect human rights. Human rights monitors collect prima facie information about human rights problems and illustrative patterns of violations. The process of collecting such information requires considerable effort. While the word “monitoring” might

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