Source description last updated: 14 November 2016
In brief: Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization publishing reports and briefings on human rights conditions in over 90 countries.
Coverage on
Press Releases (PressR), Reports (SR/PR)
Covered daily on, for countries of priorities A, B1, B2, C - Annual Report also for D and E (all available countries).
HRW’s mission states: “Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people worldwide. We scrupulously investigate abuses, expose the facts widely, and pressure those with power to respect rights and secure justice. Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization that works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all. […] 
Our work is guided by international human rights and humanitarian law and respect for the dignity of each human being. […]
We are committed to maintaining high standards of accuracy and fairness, including by seeking out multiple perspectives to develop an in- depth, analytic understanding of events. We recognize a particular responsibility for the victims and witnesses who have shared their experiences with us. […]
We also are committed to working on difficult situations, where long-term attention is required for meaningful impact. […]
We speak out against attacks on civil society and defend the political space within which the broader human rights movement operates.” (Human Rights Watch website: About Us, undated)
“When we investigate and expose human rights violations, we seek to hold oppressors accountable to their population, to the international community, and to their obligations under international law. We seek to build the case for changes in law or policy, to empower local activism, and to put a name to abusive behaviors that in some local contexts are not identified as such. We work to bring the worst abusers before courts at home or before international tribunals. We seek targeted sanctions - those that harm the abusers but not the population at large. We work to increase the price of human rights abuse. The more tyrants we bring to justice, the more potential abusers will reconsider committing human rights violations.” (Human Rights Watch website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)
“We are a fully independent non-governmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. In order to maintain our independence, we accept no money from any government, directly or indirectly.” (Human Rights Watch website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)
HRW’s total public support and revenues amounted to 68,511,163 US$ in 2015. (Human Rights Watch website: Annual Report 2015, 2015, p.46)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: More than 90 countries in Africa, The Americas, Asia, Europe/Central Asia, Middle East/North Africa, The United States
Thematic focus: Arms; Business & Human Rights; Children's Rights; Terrorism & Counterterrorism; Health & Human Rights; International Justice; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &Transgender Rights; Refugees; and Women's Rights
“Our on-the-ground researchers constantly monitor human rights conditions in some 80 countries around the world. These researchers create the foundations of our work by talking with people who were either abused or who witnessed abuse. Human Rights Watch also speaks with local human rights advocates, journalists, country experts, and government officials. We publish our findings in more than 100 reports and hundreds of news releases each year. In times of crisis, we're at the forefront, releasing up-to-the-minute information and advocating for action. […]
We also are in constant communication with reliable local organizations.” (Human Rights Watch website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)
“We choose our countries of focus, and the issues we address, based on where we think our attention is needed, and where we can make a difference. 
At the heart of the work are more than 80 researchers on staff. The researchers work to an established, proven, and consistent methodology based on information gathering from a broad range of sources, and with field-based research at its core. Some of our researchers are permanently out in the field, within or close to the locations they focus on, in places as diverse as Bujumbura, Cairo, Bangkok, and Tashkent. Others work out of our main offices in New York, Berlin, Brussels, London, Johannesburg, Moscow or Washington DC. All are regularly on mission to conduct field investigations, interviewing victims and witnesses to put the human story front and center of our reporting and advocacy. They cooperate with local civil society activists, lawyers, and journalists, and they seek contacts with state and government officials. […] 
Human Rights Watch develops its research strategies and selects its research topics based upon the guiding principles of the organization. […]
Every human rights violation or incident that Human Rights Watch investigates, and every victim or witness a researcher interviews, is unique. Therefore there is no uniform interview methodology that is universally used by the organization. But the principles by which Human Rights Watch researchers conduct interviews with victims and witnesses are standard: though interview techniques may be varied or adapted for each situation, the guiding principles, such as the need to ascertain the truth, to corroborate the veracity of statements, to protect the security and dignity of witnesses, and to remain impartial, are consistent throughout the organization.” (Human Rights Watch website: About Our Research, undated)
Language(s) of publications:
English; Human Rights Watch translates as much as possible into Arabic, French, and Spanish for their different versions of the website. There is more limited content available in Chinese, German, Japanese, and Russian.
Further reading / links:
Human Rights Watch YouTube Channel
HRW – Human Rights Watch: Why We Report on 'Open' Societies, 20 October 2009
HRW – Human Rights Watch: Frequently Asked Questions, undated
Democracy Now!: Debate: Is Human Rights Watch Too Close to U.S. Gov't to Criticize Its Foreign Policy?, 11 June 2014
Welch, Claude E., Jr. [ed.]: NGOs and Human Rights: Promise and Performance [chapters 3 & 4], 2001
All links accessed 24 October 2016
All documents available on from this source