Search engine aids rights workers

Human rights groups around the world are creating a search engine to help co-ordinate campaigns against abuse. The database behind the search system pools data about dissidents, the abuse they have suffered, and campaigns that highlight when freedoms are restricted. 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. Before its creation much of the detailed local information about rights abuses could have been overlooked. Huridocs estimates that the system now holds more than 2.5 million pages from more than 3,000 separate websites. Users can search the database in 77 languages. Work on the system, called Hurisearch, started in 2003 and now it is completed it is due to get its official launch on 10 December - Human Rights Day. By pooling information the groups hope to do a better job of co-ordinating work to highlight human rights abuse and campaigns to free prisoners of conscience. No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.

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