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Research Guides United Nations Office at Geneva Library & Archives

Archives and Human Rights: Event and Resources

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Event Summary

Organised and hosted by the United Nations Library & Archives Geneva, this event is inspired by the recently published book ‘Archives and Human Rights’, developed by the ICA Section on Archives and Human Rights and edited by Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio and Antonio González Quintana. The book examines why and how records can serve as evidence of human rights violations, in particular crimes against humanity, and help the fight against impunity. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who contributed the foreword to the book joined the co-editors in a moderated discussion on the topic that will highlight case studies from different regions of the world.

The event also featured a special message from author Isabel Allende about the value of archives and her own use of archives in research for her novel, A Long Petal of the Sea. (View a recording of Isabel Allende's message here.)


  • Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights  (biography:
  • Jens Boel is a Danish archivist and historian. He was the Chief Archivist of UNESCO from 1995 to 2017 and Chair of the International Council on ArchivesSection of International Organizations 2000–2004 and 2008–2012. He launched the UNESCO History Project in 2004 and is co-editor of Recordkeeping in International Organizations, Routledge, 2020.
  • Perrine Canavaggio, a French archivist, was Head of the Archives of the Presidency of the Republic (1974–1994). Secretary of the International Conference of the Round Table on Archives (2001–2009), she is a member of the Executive Committee of the ICA Section on Archives and Human Rights.

  • Antonio González Quintana is a Spanish archivist. He is Chair of the ICA Section on Archives and Human Rights and has been Deputy General Director of Archives in the Community of Madrid (2010–2018). He is the author of Archival Policies in the Protection of Human Rights (2009).

Read: Archives and Human Rights

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