Women's Human Rights Resources, Bora Laskin Law Library

  Research  Teaching Cooperation


Credits and History


Since 2011 the Women's Human Rights Resources Website has been supported and updated by members of the International Human Rights Programme Women's Human Rights Resources Working Group.


  • Roxanne De Souza
  • Lara Yeo
  • Sarah Bittman
  • Arielle Di Iulio
  • Ashley Major
  • Erika Woolgar
  • Zoe Hutchinson
  • Sam Keen
  • Mannu Chowdhury


  • Vidushi Hora
  • Maia Bessemer
  • Jada Tellier 1L
  • Katherine Long 1L
  • Nicole Wilkinson 1L
  • Kristina Panayotopoulos
  • Krupa Kotecha


  • Lauren Pearce 1L
  • Caitlin Steven 1L
  • Aron Zaltz
  • Carina Chan
  • Sydney Hodge 1L
  • Beatrice Marry
  • Mingyang Shi
  • Alison Mintoff 1L
  • Paloma van Groll 1L
  • Amy Tang
  • Christina Galbraith 1L
  • Kristy Warren 1L
  • Dharsha Jegatheeswaran
  • Drew Beesley
  • Ethan Schiff


  • Nita Khare
  • Aleena Reitsma
  • Carina Chan
  • Kiran Arora
  • Jennifer Bernardo
  • Sarah Rankin
  • Teresa MacLean
  • Sheena Lessard
  • Sylvie McCallum Rougerie

Current Advisors are:

  • Rebecca Cook, Professor and Chair in International Human Rights Law
  • Susan Barker, Digital Services and Reference Librarian

In 2005, a number of students at the Faculty of Law contributed to the site:

Kate Brookson-Morris received her LL.B (Hons) from the University of Warwick, U.K., in 2003 and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Toronto in 2005. She is a former intern at the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest and was a research coordinator of the University of Toronto Sierra Leone Working Group in 2003-4. Her research interests include Romani women's rights, international criminal law, women's rights and armed conflict, and international legal theory. Kate researched and annotated resources for many sections of the WHRR database throughout 2005, including the women's rights and armed conflict section and resources on basic international law texts, CEDAW, and implementing women's rights.

Lisa Forman is a South African human rights lawyer, and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law. She received her BA and LLB degrees from the University of the Witswaterand and an MA from Columbia University. Lisa has professional and academic experience in human rights and HIV/AIDS. She researched an up-to-date resources list for the "Women's Rights and HIV/AIDS" section of the database in May 2005.

Brenda Gunn completed her B.A from the University of Manitoba in Women's Studies and Native Studies in 2002 and graduated with a J.D. from the Faculty of Law, University of  Toronto in 2005. She is currently completing her Masters of Law at the University of Arizona in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy. Upon completing her Masters, she will return to Toronto to article with Sierra Legal Defense Fund.  Brenda revised and updated the "race and gender" topic area of the database and the information on international conferences on women's rights.

Jill Houlihan is a first year JD student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy from Dalhousie University. She joined the WHRR project this year as a volunteer with Pro Bono Students Canada. Jill annotated resources for various sections of the WHRR database and conducted research in areas such as safe motherhood and Canadian women and HIV/AIDS.

Susannah Howard is currently in her second year of JD studies at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  She became interested in women's human rights while completing her undergraduate education in History and Women's Studies at the University of Toronto . Her interest was reinforced through her work at a Sexual Assault Centre in Oakville , Ontario after graduation . Susannah researched and annotated a new WHRR database section on women and economic globalization and also researched other women's rights issues including the topic of remedies for international human rights violations.

Kristin Janson is currently a JD student in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. She has a Bachelors of Arts and Science from McMaster University and a Masters of Human Rights from the London School of Economics. Prior to attending law school she worked at the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement in Washington DC. Kristin researched and annotated resources for many sections of the WHRR database throughout 2005, including resources on indigenous women's rights and on refugee and immigration law.

Christina Kim is currently a first year JD student at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Prior to law school, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. She volunteers at WHRR as a student researcher through Pro Bono Students Canada.  Christina researched HIV/AIDS resources and websites related to applying international human rights law at the domestic level.

Yinka Olusoga recently completed her third-year of studies at the University of Toronto majoring in French and Sociology. She plans to attend law school to study international human rights. Yinka sought copyright permissions for journal articles and scanned and edited documents to build the full-text library on the WHRR database.  She also annotated database resources.


The WHRR website was created in 1995 at the initiative of Professor Rebecca Cook and Ann Rae, former Chief Librarian of the Bora Laskin Law Library. The information on the site built upon "A Select Bibliography of Women's Human Rights" published in the April 1995 edition of the America University Law Review by Professor Cook and Valerie Oosterveld of the University of Toronto. The main goal of the WHRR website was to provide information to assist individuals and organizations in using international women's human rights law to promote women's rights.

Many students at the Faculty of Law as well as alumni and community members have contributed to the website over the years.

A strategy seminar to guide the development of the WHRR website was held in October 1999 and included participants from a number of countries around the world. Among other ideas, the seminar participants recommended that the online bibliography be transferred from a static document to a searchable database format. This was completed in 2000 in collaboration with Robarts Library at the University of Toronto.

Early on in its development, WHRR became part of a consortium of law librarians, university-based human rights centres and human rights organizations working to build databases of electronic materials essential to human rights research. WHRR took responsibility for the field of women's human rights. The consortium is no longer functioning, but in addition to WHRR, two other projects continue independently: the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library (an extensive online library of international human rights documents), and the Yale Law School Diana Project (a collection of litigation documents used in various human rights-related cases in courts in the United States). (The consortium was named the DIANA Project in memory of Diana Vincent-Daviss, the first woman to head the libraries of both the New York University School of Law and Yale Law School who was especially known for her work in the areas of preservation of library materials and international human rights. WHRR's past connection with the DIANA project remains evident in the WHRR web address: www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/diana.)

After operating for many years with occasional grants and in-kind support from the Bora Laskin Law Library, WHRR is now an official Law Library programme and is expanding its role in supporting women's rights law research and education at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. WHRR is managed by Susan Barker, Digital Services and Reference Librarian. WHRR focuses on facilitating research, teaching and cooperation on women's human rights law with the website resources remaining central to this mission.

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Designed, updated and maintained by Susan Barker, Digital Services and Reference Librarian. Except where otherwise noted, all contents copyright Bora Laskin Law Library, 2015. Bora Laskin Law Library, 78 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C5. Comments and Suggestions