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Investigating violations of human rights

Graphic: Close up shot of hands taking notes at an interview

Investigating complaints of human rights abuses is a crucial role of all national human rights institutions.

The Human Rights Investigation Techniques training program aims to assist APF members develop the capacity to investigate alleged human rights abuses effectively and in accordance with international standards and best practice.

It examines the principles and standards that guide how effective human rights investigations are conducted, along with the specific mandates for investigations that apply to national human rights institutions.

Training also covers the key elements of the investigation process, including management of an investigation; collecting, recording, collating and evaluating information; interviewing skills; preparation of a brief of evidence; and handling evidence.

Fact sheets

Our fact sheet series provides advice on integrating good practice into human rights investigations. It also looks at the steps NHRIs can take to ensure that gender is considered in all aspects of an investigation. The fact sheet series is also available in Taiwanese Mandarin.

Graphic: Woman in interview room

Undertaking Effective Investigations: A Guide for National Human Rights Institutions

Details the key steps in conducting human rights investigations, including collecting evidence, interviewing and reporting (English, revised May 2018)


The APF has delivered:

  • Workshop on conducting human rights investigations for the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, 15-17 August 2018
  • Blended learning course on investigating allegations of torture, April-June 2016
  • Blended learning training program for all APF member institutions, March-May 2014
  • Training for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2007)
  • Training for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (2006)
  • Training for the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (2005)
  • Training for the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (2004)
  • Training for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (2003)
  • Training for the representatives of the NHRIs of Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as part of a regional workshop held in Australia in 2002.


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Image credits

  1. Close up shot of hands taking notes at an interview - APF/Michael Power