The Human Rights search engine - search over 5000 human rights web sites

HuriSearch was a special search engine for human rights related information. HuriSeach was developed and belonged to HURIDOCS (Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International). The search engine was developed in cooperation with Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) and relaunched with in 2009.

Language Multilingual

Launched 2003
Closed October 2016

Developer HURIDOCS

Country of Origin Switzerland

2003 - [...] HURIDOCS

Topic Search engine For Politic, Society & Rights Information

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Crawler / robot based SeEn using a white list of selected sites
Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search

Used SeEn HuriSearch

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Maret, Susan L. (Winter 2005/2006): »In 1981, Martin Ennals (74) former Secretary-General of Amnesty International, and founding president of Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International (HURIDOCS), observed that despite a standardized, universal and statutory concern for human rights, there is no universal and homogenous system of handling information about human rights. This dearth of information standards, techniques and appropriate technology for human rights violations information classification, documentation, reporting and storage led Ennals and others in the global human rights community to propose a Human Rights International Documentation System, leading to the formal establishment of HURIDOCS in 1982. HURIDOCS offices are located near Geneva, Switzerland. [...] Specialized human rights "discovery tools" are not a recent development. In 1996, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program launched the Directory of Human Rights Resources on the Internet. However, with the discontinuation of the AAAS Directory, HURISEARCH, a pilot project developed by HURIDOCS in 2003 in collaboration with Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), with funding from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provides one point access to human rights information published by human rights organizations worldwide, and particularly human rights NGOs. To better serve the human rights community, HURIDOCS partnered with Fast Search & Transfer (FAST), a Norwegian based company, to develop HURISEARCH. HURISEARCH is considered a vertical search engine that retrieves human rights based information published on the world-wide-web by human rights NGO organizations. HURISEARCH is geared to locate a broad platform of human right related-information, including: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from the Web and in print format.« Source

BBC News (1 December 2006): »More than 3,000 groups around the world are contributing information to the database. It has been set up because rights groups say they are not well served by current search engines. Work on the search system is being co-ordinated by Huridocs - a non-profit group set up to help human rights groups, non-governmental groups and researchers do a better job of cataloguing and sharing information. The project began by indexing documents and data prepared by large campaigning groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Anti-Slavery International. Now these have been joined by thousands of other organisations around the world who upload information into the database ready for searching.« Source

Wikipedia: »HuriSearch, developed by Huridocs, is a specialised human rights search engine which access to complete contents of websites of human rights organisations. As of September 2007, HuriSearch searched the content of over 3,250 sites, with a total of more than 3.8 million pages. It is designed to focus searches on information published in a particular country, by a particular type of organisation, by a specific organisation, or in a specific language. HuriSearch also analyses search results; for each document crawled, relevant keywords out of a list of over 300 terms relevant to human rights are identified. The website and the search interface are available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic Chinese and Korean, and allow searching information in 77 languages. HuriSearch was launched in 2003, and major upgrades became available during the second half of 2006. A new version of HuriSearch was officially launched on 1 December 2006. Since the launch, the site had about 180 unique visitors per day. HuriSearch is developed by HURIDOCS in collaboration with FAST, a search technology company. In 2009, HuriSearch was re-developed as an Open Search search engine, in collaboration with« Source


HuriSearch: Human rights Search Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

Dueck, Judith (08/08/2006): »By default result lists are ranked by relevancy. It is also possible to rank by date by checking the box: The date used for sorting is the date that the page was indexed by HuriSearch. As the index is still quite new this sort is of limited value, but will prove more useful as the index matures. In the future, HuriSearch will take into account Dublin Core meta data, which contains a field for the date of publication. This will make searching by date more reliable, provided that websites systematically use meta data field to describe the pages they publish. [...] HuriSearch uses a dedicated web crawler to retrieve and index documents based on a starting URL which in most instances will be a domain name. [...] The crawl conforms to a top-down approach and does not “horizontally” crawl to sites outside the domain specified in the starting URL. Sites mentioned for example in “Links” on a web page will not be crawled. 21 The Crawler visits sites periodically, identifying itself as as HuriSearchBot. Consult server logfiles for information regarding its activity. The frequency varies between once a day to once a week.« Source


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Maret, Susan L. (Winter 2005/2006): Formats are a Tool for the Quest for Truth: HURIDOCS Human Rights Materials for Library and Human Rights Workers. - In: Progressive Librarian, Iss. 26 (Winter 2005/2006) URL:
Dueck, Judith (08/08/2006): HuriSearch –a dynamic new search human rights engine built on global collaboration URL:
BBC News (1 December 2006): Search engine aids rights workers URL:

Created: 2013-02-11