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Fact-Finding by Nongovernmental Organizations

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Chapter Summary

There are a considerable number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in the implementation of human rights. Working at the international and/or national levels, these organizations function as unofficial ombudsmen safeguarding human rights against governmental infringement. If these nongovernmental human rights organizations wish to act effectively and responsibly, they must engage in fact-finding. These NGOs share the same basic purpose, that is, to gather information which can be effectively mustered-either directly or indirectly-to influence the implementation of human rights by governments. Human rights fact-finding procedures used by multilateral international organizations are more applicable to NGO fact-finding than is the Hague model of bilateral inquiry. This chapter examines NGO fact-finding, particularly fact-finding by missions of inquiry, with regard to the composition and nature of the fact-finding body; methods of inquiry; admissibility of evidence; methods for insuring the reliability of evidence; reports; and the dissemination of reports.

Keywords: fact-finding body; Hague model; human rights fact-finding procedures; multilateral international organizations; non-governmental human rights organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs)



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