A Case Study on the State of Transparency of Human Rights International Organizations’ Websites: A Step towards Good Governance

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.A. Student, Department of International Law, Azadshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Azadshahr, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Law Department, Azadshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Azadshahr, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran.


Purpose: Due to the digital revolution and increasing development of ICTs, and the entrance of national as well as international organizations to such an arena, the foundation of transparency is formed through virtual environments including organizational websites. As a result of the importance of this subject, i.e. transparency, and also, the undeniable role of human rights international organizations, the present research aims to explain and evaluate the transparency status of websites at these organizations.
Methodology: To do this, firstly, the research population consisting of 11 human rights international organizations was selected. A questionnaire revolving around 3 main dimensions (access to information, contribution to/engagement in decision making, and access to outputs) was developed and utilized, and then, the gathered data were analyzed.
Findings: Based on the analysis of collected data, UNESCO (with 100 percent coverage of transparency items) and HRWF (with 40 percent coverage of transparency items) were the best and the worst performers, respectively.
Moreover, the three organizations "International Labor Organization", "World Health Organization", and "United Nations Children's Fund" (joint second rank with 97.5 percent coverage of transparency items), "Civil Rights Defenders" (third rank with 92.5 percent coverage of transparency items), "Anti-Slavery International" (fourth rank with 90 percent coverage of transparency items), "United Nations" (fifth rank with 87.5 percent coverage of transparency items), FIAN (sixth rank with 75 percent coverage of transparency items), "Amnesty International" (seventh rank with 72.5 percent coverage of transparency items), and "Center for Economic and Social Rights" (eighth rank with 67.5 percent coverage of transparency items) were identified.
Conclusion: Finally, the overall performance of the international organizations of human rights was evaluated as acceptable. Regardless of the current situation, in line with much more performance and so better transparency, some recommendations revolving around the three main dimensions (i.e., access to information, contribution to/engagement in decision making, and access to outputs) were emphasized.


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