For the document searches the results can be obtained by any of a keyword search, entering the document symbol and selecting the year of publication.

Keyword searching is case-insensitive and can be performed in one of two ways by selecting the desired search type; either ‘all of these words’ in which case only annotations or documents in which all of the supplied keywords can be found are returned or ‘any of these words’ in which case all annotations or documents where at least one of the supplied keywords are found. In addition a specific phrase can be searched for either alone in combination by enclosing the desired phrase within quotation marks e.g. “forced labour” as a keyword. Certain noise words are omitted from searches depending on the likely volume of not representative results occurring and the following reserved words are always omitted except when they exist as part of a quoted phrase: ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’ and the symbol ‘&’.

In addition to the above criteria searches can be refined further by optionally selecting one or more options for each of the following filters: geographic region or state/entity, articles, issues, communication numbers, sessions, type Of decision and human rights mechanism or a specific body (e.g. Committee against Torture).

*This database is based on a database designed and developed by the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) of Utrecht University which has agreed to make its database available to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.