The retirement of HuriSearch
HuriSearch is no longer being maintained or supported by HURIDOCS. HuriSearch was aimed specifically for use by human rights organisations in their documentation work. Unlike generic search engines like Google, HuriSearch indexed only human rights websites and only retrieved results that were relevant to human rights.
Our staff had put considerable efforts into identifying the relevant sites to keep the engine updated, but as the funding for the project became scarce in 2012, it significantly limited our ability to responsibly maintain HuriSearch. The project was originally made possible by support from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and other donors investing in better technology for human rights.
We have received a number of emails inquiring about the fate of HuriSearch, and we regret that we are unable to sustain this tool. We feel that these inquiries show tremendous appreciation for this tool from the human rights community. It also underscores the important role that the tool played in the daily work of human rights advocates and organisations.
Now, in 2018, we hope that human rights defenders are able to use new search resources and services to carry out similar, or even better searches on the human rights information they seek. Here are some existing resources and general tips that human rights defenders can use:
- The United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (OHCHR) offers a variety of human rights-focused guides and databases, as well as links to external resources that could be useful for human rights groups and researchers.
- University of Minnesota Human Rights Library has a large collection of documents and articles related to human rights in eight languages.
- First Draft News offers practical and ethical guidance in finding, verifying and publishing content from the social web. Even though the project’s main aim is to fight mis- and disinformation online, some if its resources, like this quick video guide on mastering Google search, could be used by human rights defenders to tailor research settings for more precise results when using the Google search engine.
- This Ahrefs blog post offers a complete list of all Google search operators, which could help human rights defenders and researchers take their search to a more advanced level.
- DuckDuckGo, one of the most private search engines, offers a search syntax guide to help its users narrow down their queries.
- StartPage, a search engine that does not track searches or record IP addresses is another option that human rights defenders might opt for to conduct a secure and private search online.