Amnesty Reports

House Style

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House Style

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Amnesty


International


Report 2015/16

The state of the world’s human rights

Contents

Operational Policy on House style as applicable to all languages and house style in English

Amnesty International is a movement of 10 million people which mobilizes the humanity in everyone and campaigns for change so we can all enjoy our human rights. Our vision is of a world where those in power keep their promises, respect international law and are held to account. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion and are funded mainly by our membership and individual donations. We believe that acting in solidarity and compassion with people everywhere can change our societies for the better.

Introduction

Purpose of house style policy

This operational policy sets out the house style of Amnesty International’s International Secretariat. It updates and supersedes Amnesty International House Style: Operational Policy on Terminology, Names of Places, People and Entities, References, Spelling and Punctuation (Index: POL 40/3892/2021). That document had in turn superseded the house style guidance provided in Writing for Amnesty International: Guidance for Staff on Writing Style and Use of Language (Index: DOC 10/6309/2017).

It sets out house style as applicable across all languages (Part A). This includes universal rules and guidance regarding abbreviations (in languages where this is applicable), captions, footnotes, figures, maps, the naming of places, people and entities (such as organizations) and international legal instruments, and references (or citations), as well as mentions of disability and illness.

It then sets out house style rules as applicable to the use of English only (Part B). This contains rules and guidance on spelling; punctuation; and certain other aspects of grammar.

It does not seek to provide a comprehensive guide to these aspects of language, but rather to codify Amnesty International’s preferences when multiple accepted options exist in English. These rules and guidance naturally differ from one language to another and are therefore not universal.

This new and rearranged edition of the operational policy on house style is a step on the way to achieving a vision in which we have not only a set of house style rules applicable to all languages and a set of house style rules for English only, but also sets of house style rules for other languages.

There are multiple reasons for following the house style. Consistently using a house style helps produce clear and coherent outputs that reflect the professionalism, accuracy and impartiality of our work, allowing our audience to concentrate on our message. It also aids the readability of our outputs, many of which are consulted by people whose first language is not that of the text they are reading. In addition, given the importance of multilingualism in spreading Amnesty International’s message and to our organizational culture and mindful of the fact that the majority of our outputs will be translated into other languages, adhering to these guidelines will facilitate the work of our translators. Finally, it reinforces the idea that Amnesty International speaks with one voice.

The operational policy is intended to save the time of everyone who writes for Amnesty International (originators) or who works with the writing of others, such as reviewers, editors, proofreaders and translators. It helps empower originators to be their own first reviewers and frees up the time of reviewers to focus more on the substance than the form. It also helps staff avoid having to check for precedents in previous Amnesty International outputs to determine matters such as spelling or capitalization. It is also used by translators to ensure that there is alignment in our messaging and that, as stated above, Amnesty International speaks with one voice.

Everyone is expected to follow the self-servicing principle and take responsibility for ensuring their own writing conforms with house style. All reviewers are also expected to ensure that texts they approve conform with house style.

House style should be adhered to in all outputs issued by Amnesty International’s International Secretariat. However, this operational policy is not intended to be overly restrictive. There will be always be exceptions to the rules on the grounds of appropriateness or common sense. The most important rule is to maintain consistency within the same document.

National entities of Amnesty International (national offices, sections and structures) may have their own house style in English to reflect, in particular, national preferences for spelling and punctuation conventions. However, the house style that is applicable across all languages should be beneficial for them, too.

Principles underlying house style policy

Amnesty International’s house style seeks to align our communications with our core values of “global coverage”, “the universality and indivisibility of human rights” and “impartiality and independence”, as well as the need to “disclose human rights abuses accurately, quickly and persistently”, conduct research “systematically and impartially” and “mobilize public pressure”.11See “Statute of Amnesty International, as amended by the 2019 Global Assembly Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2-4 August 2019”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol20/1045/2019/en

Accordingly, with respect to the house style that is applicable across all languages, we have created a system for references (or citations) that is accurate and systematic, but not unnecessarily academic, for our main audiences. We have chosen conventions on the naming of places (such as countries), people and entities (such as organizations) that emphasize our impartiality and independence.

With respect to house style in English, we have adopted spelling, capitalization and punctuation conventions that are considered contemporary and international, while recognizing that none are universal.

Our use of terminology corresponds with the principle of the universality and indivisibility of human rights, as enshrined in our human rights policies.

How to use house style policy

Part A (all languages)

Chapter 2 provides the essentials of Amnesty International’s house style as applicable across all languages.

Given differences related to spelling, capitalization and punctuation across languages, it is limited mainly to universal rules and guidance regarding abbreviations, captions, footnotes, figures, maps, the naming of places, people and entities (such as organizations) and international legal instruments, and references (or citations), as well as mentions of disability and illness. It is designed to answer key questions and signpost further details found in subsequent chapters.

Chapters 3-5 set out further information on referencing conventions (or citations) and the naming of places (such as countries), people and entities (such as organizations), and international legal instruments. These chapters include concrete examples to illustrate the conventions.

The examples provided in Chapters 2-5 illustrate the application of rules and guidance in the English language, but they are designed to be adaptable to other languages. Note that when reference is made to the use of punctuation such as brackets, commas, full stops and semicolons, these may need to be substituted by their equivalents in languages other than English. In a few instances, mention is made of rules or guidance that apply only to writing in English. These are signposted by phrases such as “In English…”. Beyond this, it is important that originators apply common sense and adapt guidance based on the linguistic environment in which they are operating.

Part B (English only)

Chapter 6 provides the essentials of Amnesty International’s house style as applicable to the use of English only. It contains rules and guidance on spelling, including the use of capital letters and italics; punctuation, such as the use of apostrophes, brackets, bullet points, commas, dashes, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks; and certain other aspects of grammar, such as the use of collective nouns, numerals, pronouns, relative pronouns, quotations and units of measurement. These rules and guidance naturally differ from one language to another and are therefore not universal. The chapter is designed to answer key questions and signpost further details found in subsequent chapters.

Chapters 7-8 set out further information on spelling and capitalization in English, as well as the rationale behind certain house style choices.

Chapter 9 contains explanations of key human right terms in alphabetical order, providing guidance on how to use them. It also contains advice on terms to avoid. This information is largely based on Amnesty International’s human rights policies.

Throughout the text, examples are provided to ensure that everyone can understand the guidance whether or not they are familiar with any technical terms used.

Example of text conforming with house style

Example of text NOT conforming with house style

To help navigation of the text, cross-references in this style are provided.

Footnotes include:

  • practical tips on how to help ensure conformity with house style;
  • clarifications where guidance is different from that in Amnesty International House Style: Operational Policy on Terminology, Names of Places, People and Entities, References, Spelling and Punctuation (Index: POL 40/3892/2021) or Writing for Amnesty International: Guidance for Staff on Writing Style and Use of Language (Index: DOC 10/6309/2017);
  • references to sources for quotes in the text;
  • other supplementary information for the sake of context.

Related resources

English

House style dictionary

The dictionary that Amnesty International uses for spelling in English is the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). The house style rules applicable to English refer to it repeatedly.

Spellcheck

Download the AmnestySpell spellcheck app from the Software Center. Set the “proofing language” to “English (United Kingdom)” in Microsoft Word. Set the “preferred” “Offices authoring languages and proofing” language to English (United Kingdom).

AmnestySpell works in Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneNote. It does not work in Excel, Word Online, Teams, any search engine or online messaging applications or platforms. Therefore open Word documents in the app, not in Word Online. The AmnestySpell app is based on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). Having downloaded the AmnestySpell spellcheck app, use the spellcheck function set to English (United Kingdom) to check compliance with house style spelling.

Language usage

A house style is not designed to answer all questions related to the use of language. Further advice on use of punctuation in English, such as colons, semicolons and commas, is available at The Writer (http://www.thewriter.com/what-we-think/style-guide). Further advice on English language usage, such as grammar and syntax, is available in Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, 2017.

Grammar checkers

Microsoft Word includes a grammar check function. Use this to identify grammatical issues. There are also multiple online tools and apps to check English grammar, such as Grammarly. They can have some applications, but the advice they give on spelling and punctuation will often conflict with Amnesty International’s house style, so use them with care.

French

Dictionaries

The Language Resource Centre uses the following reference dictionary in French: Le Robert (http://www.lerobert.com).

Language Usage

The Language Resource Centre uses the following resource on language usage in French: Le Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé (http://atilf.atilf.fr).

Further advice

Contact the Language Resource Centre for further advice on house style in French. See the Translation Function site on SharePoint (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/AISFNCTranslation/SitePages/Translation%20Unit%20Page.aspx) for contact details.

Spanish

Dictionaries

The Language Resource Centre uses the following reference dictionaries in Spanish:

Diccionario de uso del español de María Moliner (http://cvc.cervantes.es/lengua/mmoliner/default.htm), Diccionario de la lengua Española (http://dle.rae.es) and Diccionario del español jurídico (http://dej.rae.es).

Language Usage

The Language Resource Centre uses the following resource on language usage in Spanish: Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (http://www.rae.es/recursos/diccionarios/dpd).

Further advice

Contact the Language Resource Centre for further advice on house style in Spanish. See the Translation Function site on SharePoint (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/AISFNCTranslation/SitePages/Translation%20Unit%20Page.aspx) for contact details.

Arabic

Dictionaries

The Language Resource Centre uses the following reference dictionaries in Arabic: Al-Mawrid, Al-Mughni Al-Akbar, Faruqi’s Law Dictionary and The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic.

Further advice

Contact the Language Resource Centre for further advice on house style in Arabic. See the Translation Function site on SharePoint (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/AISFNCTranslation/SitePages/Translation%20Unit%20Page.aspx) for contact details.

Other languages

Further advice

Contact the Language Resource Centre for advice on house style in other languages. See the Translation Function site on SharePoint (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/AISFNCTranslation/SitePages/Translation%20Unit%20Page.aspx) for contact details.

All languages

New writing guidelines

Brand hub

Amnesty International’s Brand Hub (https://brandhub.amnesty.org) contains resources on the organization’s visual identity, including fonts and layout of type.

Human Rights Policy Database

The A-Z of terms in this operational policy is largely based on Amnesty International’s human rights policies. Consult the Human Rights Policy Database (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/app-humanrightspolicy) for more information on these.

Research guidelines and practices

The Research Function site on SharePoint (https://oneamnesty.sharepoint.com/sites/AISFNCResearch) contains guidelines and tools related to research and evidence management.

Quality assurance

Amnesty International’s Quality Assurance Framework [updated May 2017] (Index: ORG 10/2704/2015) sets out the standards all written outputs must meet. It also details agreed review and approval processes for written outputs.

 PART A  HOUSE STYLE FOR ALL LANGUAGES

House style essentials for all languages

2.1 Abbreviations 15

2.2 Captions 15

2.2.1 Use of captions 15

2.2.2 Punctuation in captions 15

2.2.3 Copyright information and captions 15

2.3 Charts 16

2.4 Diagrams 16

2.5 Disability and illness 16

2.5.1 People first 16

2.5.2 Emotionally neutral terms 16

2.6 Figures (charts, graphs and tables) 17

2.6.1 Use of figures 17

2.6.2 Style and labelling of figures 17

2.6.3 Captions for figures 17

2.6.4 Referencing to figures 18

2.7 Footnotes and endnotes 18

2.7.1 Use of footnotes or endnotes 18

2.7.2 Indicators for footnotes and endnotes 18

2.7.3 Punctuation in footnotes and endnotes 19

2.8 Graphs 19

2.9 International legal instruments 19

2.9.1 Names of international legal instruments 19

2.9.2 Abbreviations of international legal instruments 19

2.10 Maps 20

2.10.1 Labelling maps 20

2.10.2 Captions for maps 20

2.10.3 Disputed borders or designations in maps 20

2.11 Names 21

2.11.1 Place names 21

2.11.2 People’s names 21

2.11.3 Entities’ names 21

2.12 References 22

2.13 Spacing 24

2.14 Tables 24

2.15 Titles of people 24

2.15.1 Common titles 24

2.15.2 Honorific titles 24

2.15.3 Honorific forms of address 24

This chapter provides the essentials of Amnesty International’s house style as applicable across all languages. Given differences related to spelling, capitalization and punctuation across languages, it is limited mainly to universal rules and guidance regarding abbreviations (in languages where this is applicable), captions, footnotes, figures, maps, the naming of places, people and entities (such as organizations) and international legal instruments, and references (or citations), as well as mentions of disability and illness. It is designed to answer key questions and signpost further details found in subsequent chapters. In some sections, examples are given of the application of rules and guidance in the English language; these are designed to be adaptable to other languages. Note that when reference is made to the use of punctuation such as brackets, commas, full stops, semicolons, dashes and quotation marks, these may need to be substituted by their equivalents in languages other than English. Beyond this, it is important that originators apply common sense and adapt guidance based on the linguistic environment in which they are operating.

Abbreviations

Use abbreviations (in languages where this is applicable) sparingly. They can make a text harder to read and translate.

You may use abbreviations to replace terms that are repeated frequently in the same document. However, on first mention, give the name in full, followed by the abbreviation in brackets (or equivalent). It is acknowledged that some languages use abbreviations, while others do not.

In longer documents, such as reports and briefings:

  • Treat the executive summary and rest of the text as two separate documents. If you abbreviate a name in the executive summary, give the name in full again on first mention in the rest of the text before abbreviating again.
  • Add abbreviations to the glossary at the beginning of the document.
  • Generally, give the full name on first mention in a footnote. However, if the abbreviation has already been provided in the main text, you may use the abbreviation in the footnote without further explanation.

See also “6.1 Acronyms and initials”.

Captions

Use of captions

Add captions to all photographs, other images, figures (charts, graphs and diagrams) and maps.

Punctuation in captions

Only end the wording in a caption before the copyright symbol with a full stop if it contains more than one sentence.

Copyright information and captions

Include copyright information for all photographs and other images and for figures and maps from sources other than Amnesty International when reproduced in their original form. Use © (or equivalent) before the name of the copyright holder. Do NOT add a full stop (or equivalent) after the copyright information.

Manasseh Rini © PrivateA mural outside a school for children with disabilities in Makassar reads “See me, not my disability”, 17 June 2019 © Amnesty InternationalScreenshot of the opening sequence of the video of the song “Balaha” by Ramy Essam, which is critical of the authorities. He released the song and video on 26 February 2018 and posted them on social media. The public prosecution cited the song in evidence against him. © Ramy Essam

See also “2.6.3 Captions for figures” and “2.10.2 Captions for maps”.

Charts

See “2.6 Figures (charts, graphs and tables)”.

Diagrams

See “2.6 Figures (charts, graphs and tables)”.

Disability and illness

People first

Always put people first and the disability or illness second. Do not equate the person with the disability or illness. Acknowledge persons with a disability or illness as individuals rather than homogenized as a group.

persons with disabilities

a worker with a disability

the disabled

He is a wheelchair user

He is confined to a wheelchairHe is wheelchair-bound

She had a stroke

She is a stroke victim

She has multiple sclerosis

She suffers from multiple sclerosis

She is living with HIV

She is HIV positive

See “9. A-Z of terms” for specific terminology.

Figures (charts, graphs and tables)

Use of figures

Use figures (charts, graphs and tables) to present significant quantities of data in a form that is easy to understand. If the output will be translated, ensure to provide editable versions of figures to facilitate their conversion into another langauge.

Style and labelling of figures

For all figures:

  • give the figure a concise title describing its main subject;
  • in general, use the same size of font for the title as for the body text of the document;
  • use clear and concise headings for all columns and rows of tables and clear and concise labels for axes of graphs;
  • in general, use a smaller size of font for the headings and labels than for the title;
  • include a key within the figure, either immediately underneath it or set to the right of it, and use it to explain any symbols.

If there is more than one figure in a document:

  • ensure consistency in the style and format of figures and their titles;
  • use the word “figure” (or its equivalent in another language) in the title;
  • number each figure and ensure the numbering is sequential throughout the document (for example, in English, “figure 1”, “figure 2”, “figure 3” and so on).

Fill blanks in tables and provide an explanation in a note (for example, in English, “n/a” = not available or not applicable).

When a table is split over more than one page, repeat the header row(s) at the top of the following page.

Captions for figures

For all figures, include a caption immediately adjacent to the figure, generally below it.

If the source of the figure is not Amnesty International and the figure is reproduced in its original form, include copyright information, using the following format: [Description] © [source], [date of production of figure]

Acute malnutrition admission trends 2018 vs 2019 © OCHA Somalia, May 2019

If you have used external data sources to produce the figure, indicate this in the caption.

The security situation for humanitarian workers worsened over 2019. Amnesty International calculated the number of attacks per month on the basis of data in the AidWorker Security Database, https://aidworkersecurity.org (accessed on 5 February 2020).

Referencing to figures

Include a reference to all figures in the body of the text, near to where it is placed.

The number of investigations in all three provinces increased significantly between 2013 and 2018 (see figure 1).

The number of investigations by the public prosecution that were reported as starting in a given year increased every year between 2013 and 2018 in each of the three counties. Amnesty International calculated the number of investigations from information published by the respective public prosecution authorities.

Footnotes and endnotes

Use of footnotes or endnotes

Use footnotes unless the template for the type of output you are writing indicates otherwise (for example, annual report entries).

Use footnotes or endnotes to reference sources for statements in the main text or provide useful additional information to the audience, particularly in research and advocacy documents, such as reports, briefings and public statements.

See also “3. References” for full details on what to include as a reference in footnotes.

Indicators for footnotes and endnotes

In the main text, put the footnote or endnote indicator at the end of the sentence or clause to which they relate. In general, place it after any punctuation, such as a full stop, comma or closing bracket.

Several organizations provided evidence to back up this statement.46The government announced that it had eradicated torture,8 a claim that NGOs have disputed.Indicators of health (defined by the WHO as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”)4 have deteriorated.

Begin footnotes and endnotes with a superscript numeral (for example, 1) followed by a character space.

Punctuation in footnotes and endnotes

Separate with semicolons (or equivalent) multiple references for a single statement attached to one footnote in the text.

If beginning a new sentence after a web address, first enter a hard return.

Place a full stop (or equivalent) at the end of the footnote or endnote, except when it ends in a web address.

See also “2.12 References”.

Graphs

See “2.6 Figures (charts, graphs and tables)”.

International legal instruments

Names of international legal instruments

Use the title recorded in the official document library of the organization in which the instrument was adopted or generated.

Abbreviations of international legal instruments

You may use abbreviations (in languages where this is applicable) to replace the names of documents that are repeated frequently in the same document. However, on first mention, give the name in full, followed by the abbreviation in brackets (or equivalent).

UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN Convention against Torture)

Avoid use of the abbreviation “No.” (number) (or its equivalent in another language) in the titles of international legal instruments.

ILO Convention 182

ILO Convention No. 182

See “5. International legal instruments” for naming conventions and common abbreviations of international legal instruments.

Maps

Labelling maps

For all maps:

  • give the map a concise title describing its main focus and place it above, not inside, the map image;
  • include a country’s capital if visible on the map;
  • if the map contains symbols or uses colour coding, include a key within the map in order to explain them, either immediately underneath it or set to the right of it;
  • if the map is detailed, include a scale bar.

Captions for maps

For all maps, include a caption immediately below the map.

If required, include copyright information and use the following format: [Description] © [source], [date of production of map]

Access restrictions in the Hebron area, occupied West Bank, in June 2018 © OCHA, January 2019

If you have adapted a base map and/or used geospatial data sources to include features on the map, indicate this in the caption, using the following format: [Description]. Base map © [source], [date of production of map] data sources: [source 1, source 2]

Substitute “Base map” and “data sources” for the equivalent terms in another language as appropriate.

Indigenous territories in Brazil’s Amazon region, including ones visited by Amnesty International in December 2019. Base map © Google, 24 February 2020, data sources: OCHA, RAISG

Disputed borders or designations in maps

If the map shows disputed borders or designations, consider adding a disclaimer within the caption.

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply any position by Amnesty International on the status of territory.

Names

Place names

Use Amnesty International’s standard names for names of countries and nationalities.

See “4.1.1 Country names and nationalities” for more details.

When in doubt regarding spelling, especially in cases of place names transliterated from one language to another with a different script, search for the name in the GeoNames database (https://www.geonames.org) and use the preferred spelling. This is identifiable by clicking on “Alternate names”, locating the desired language and choosing the first spelling (if there is more than one). Include diacritics (marks such as accents placed over, under or through a letter) when these appear in the preferred spelling. Do not include them when they do not appear in the preferred spelling.

On first reference to a place name, indicate the type of place referred to, using terms such as “capital”, “city”, “town”, “village”, “state” and “region”. When preparing documents for translation, include comments on the type of place if these are not included in the text as some languages use different prepositions for different types of places.

See “4. Names” for more details.

People’s names

Generally, give a person’s full name on first reference. After that you may abbreviate the name in a culturally appropriate way but use the same abbreviation throughout the document. If in doubt, use first name and surname throughout.

When using pseudonyms, consistently place double quotation marks (or equivalent) around them.

“Randa” (not her real name)

See “4. Names” for more details.

See also “2.15 Titles of people”.

Entities’ names

In general, spell the names of entities, such as organizations, as they do themselves. Check their website if in doubt.

Al Jazeera

al-Jazeera

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

For entities whose original name is in another language, use the translation into the language of the document if this is commonly used. In general, there is no need also to provide the name in the original language. You may wish to do so in brackets (or equivalent) on first mention if the name in the original language is also commonly used in texts written in the language of the document (to help identify the entity in question).

France’s National Rally (Rassemblement national) party

France’s Rassemblement national (National Rally) party

Provide in brackets (or equivalent) the name of the entity in the original language on first mention if an abbreviation (such as an acronym or initialism) derived from the name in the original language is commonly used in texts written in the language of the document and will be used on subsequent mentions. In this case, place the abbreviation after a comma (or equivalent) within the same brackets (or equivalent).

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP)

Use “the Islamic State armed group” (or its equivalent in another language) on first mention and “Islamic State” (without “the”) (or its equivalent in another language) for subsequent mentions.22Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.

If the entity is known in the language of the document by the original-language version of its name rather than a translation, use that. For entities such as political groups that have alternative transliterations in common usage, use the preferred spelling on the UN Terminology Database (https://unterm.un.org/unterm/portal/welcome).

Al-Qaida

al-Qa’ida

Hizbullah

Hezbollah

See “4. Names” for more details.

References

Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent), for the elements of a reference to any source:

  • author (individual, editor or entity)
  • title
  • date of publication or broadcasting of source
  • location of source (such as web address or UN Document number)33Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.
  • location in source (such as Article, page or paragraph numbers).

The following are examples illustrating the application of these principles in English:

International legal instruments

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Migrant Workers Convention), Article 2(2)(b).

National legislation

Canada, Extradition Act, 1999, laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-23.01/index.html, Chapter 18, section 1.

Court documents

European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Medvedyev and Others v. France, Application 3394/03, Grand Chamber judgment, 29 March 2010, https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=002-1015&filename=002-1015.pdf&TID=ihgdqbxnfi, paras 79-80.

UN documents

UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), Concluding Observations: United States of America, 23 April 2014, UN Doc. CCPR/C/USA/CO/4, paras 5-6.

Amnesty International reports

Amnesty International, Still Waiting for Justice: One Year On from the Violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan (Index: EUR 58/001/2011), 8 June 2011, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/EUR58/001/2011/en/, pp. 5-6.

Amnesty International press releases

Amnesty International, “Cuba: Prisoner releases must lead to new human rights environment”, 8 January 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/01/cuba-prisoner-releases/

Books

Javaid Rehman, International Human Rights Law, 2nd edition, 2009, p. 123.

Dynamic web sources

World Bank, “Overview”, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics Database, https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 3 February 2018).

Articles by newspapers

New York Times, “Venezuela’s Maduro claims control of National Assembly, tightening grip on power”, 5 January 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/world/americas/venezuela-noticias-maduro-guaido.html

Social media posts

White House, Twitter post, 25 March 2019, https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1110281568281653248: “President Trump’s Proclamation today recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is crucial to the stability of the entire Middle East.”

TV and radio programmes

CNN, Troubled Waters, 28 February 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/02/28/cfp-troubled-waters-ghana-documentary.cnn

Videos

hhbdkhan, “Free Syrian Army – True Mujahideen 2.0”, 24 October 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSlNNEAtPmc, minute 3:43.

Correspondence

Amnesty International, Memorandum to Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Mali, 30 April 2020, on file with Amnesty International.

Interviews

Interview by voice call with Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, 25 February 2017.

See “3. References” for more details and many more examples.

Spacing

Use a single character space, not a double space, between sentences.44Tip: Using the “Replace” function, “Find” double space and “Replace with” single space. It is acknowledged that some languages use non-breaking spaces before some punctuation.

Tables

See “2.6 Figures (charts, graphs and tables)”.

Titles of people

Common titles

Do NOT use common titles before people’s names.

Mr, Mrs, Ms, MissMonsieur, Madame, MadamoiselleSeñor, Señora, Señorita

Honorific titles

Avoid using honorific titles before people’s names for political, aristocratic and religious positions (for example, “Her Majesty”, “Ayatollah”, “Sheikh” and “Lord” in English), military ranks (for example, “Commander” and “Colonel” in English) and professional status (for example, “Dr” and “Professor” in English) outside official communications. Similarly avoid adding titles or abbreviations denoting academic qualifications (for example, “Dr” and “PhD” in English) or national awards (for example, “Sir” and “OBE” in English) before or after people’s names.

Honorific forms of address

Use honorific forms of address (for example, “Your Excellency” and “Madam High Commissioner” in English) only when addressing individuals directly, such as in official communications or oral briefings.

References

3.1 General principles 26

3.1.1 Purposes of references 26

3.1.2 Elements of references to sources 26

3.1.3 References to sources in other languages 31

3.1.4 Introduction of references 32

3.1.5 Repeated references 33

3.1.6 Internal cross-references 33

3.1.7 Evidence management for references 33

3.2 Guidance for different sources 34

3.2.1 International legal instruments 34

3.2.2 National legislation in references 37

3.2.3 Court documents in references 38

3.2.4 UN documents with UN Document numbers in references 39

3.2.5 Books in references 42

3.2.6 Other major publications (reports, briefings) in references 44

3.2.7 Shorter publications (press releases, statements) in references 45

3.2.8 Articles in newspapers, magazines, other news providers in references 47

3.2.9 Journal articles in references 48

3.2.10 Blogs and op-eds in references 49

3.2.11 Dynamic web sources in references 50

3.2.12 Social media posts in references 50

3.2.13 Audiovisual sources in references 51

3.2.14 Correspondence in references 52

3.2.15 Interviews in references 52

3.2.16 Meetings in references 54

This chapter provides rules and guidance on how to reference sources in footnotes as applicable across all languages. It begins with some general principles on the purposes of references, the elements of references and their structure within a footnote.

It then sets out detailed guidance for different sources, including international legal instruments, national legislation, court documents, UN documents, books, other major publications (such as reports), shorter publications (such as press releases), articles in newspapers and magazines, journal articles, blogs and op-eds, dynamic web sources, social media posts, audiovisual sources, correspondence, interviews and meetings. Examples are given of the application of rules and guidance in the English language; these are designed to be adaptable to other languages. Note that when reference is made to the use of punctuation such as brackets, commas, full stops, semicolons, dashes and quotation marks, these may need to be substituted by their equivalents in languages other than English.

General principles

Purposes of references

Use references to:

  • identify the source of a statement in the main text, including the original source of a quotation, statistics, data and other evidence;
  • substantiate statements made in the text;
  • acknowledge the ideas of other authors, reproduced either directly or indirectly;
  • present explanatory or supplementary information that is not appropriate within the main text;
  • direct the reader to information contained in another part of the text.

Elements of references to sources

        1. Format for reference to source
  • In general, use the following format, separated by commas, for the elements of a reference to any source:
    • author of source
    • title of source
    • date of source
    • location of source
    • location in source
  • Separate with semicolons multiple references for a single statement attached to one footnote in the text.
  • If beginning a new sentence after a web address, first enter a hard return.
  • Place a full stop at the end of the footnote or endnote, except when it ends in a web address.
        1. Author of source
          1. In General
  • Be aware that the “author” may be an individual author or authors, an editor or editors, or an institution or institutions.55Tip: If the “author” is a web-only institution, such as an online news provider, you may need to consult the “About us” section of the website to identify the name of the institution rather than the web address.
  • Sometimes, a choice has to be made between using the name of an individual or the name of an institution as the author. When in doubt, use the name of the institution, such as a newspaper, particularly if it is better known than the individual author.
  • If there are two authors, mention both authors and separate them with “and” (or its equivalent in another language) rather than a comma (or equivalent).
  • If there are more than two authors, use “and others” (or their equivalent in another language) after the name of the first author.66Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use “et al” if there are more than two authors. This contradicted the general guidance to avoid Latin expressions.
  • Use first names and surnames for individual authors. Avoid middle initials and honorifics (such as “Professor” and “Dr” in English).

Javaid Rehman

Professor J. RehmanRehman, Javaid

  • Add “(editor)” or “(editors)” (or their equivalent in another language) after the name(s) of editors.

Simone Fennell (editor)

  • Abbreviate long names of institutions after their first mention if they are used in multiple citations.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

  • Also use an abbreviation if it has already been introduced in the main text.
          1. In English
  • Do NOT include “the” before the names of institutions, whether or not it is part of their name.

New York Times

The New York Times

  • Include definite articles in other languages if they are an integral part of the name of the author (for example, “Le Monde”, “El País”, “Die Zeit”, “Al Jazeera”). Do NOT include definite articles in other languages if they are not an integral part of the name (for example, “Nouvel Horizon”, “Reforma”, “Bild”, “Okaz”). If in doubt, check the banner on their website.
  • Capitalize using title case regardless of the capitalization style used by the source.

See “8. Capital letters in English” for more details.

        1. Title of source
          1. Subtitles
  • When a publication has a title and subtitle, in general include both, separating them with a colon (or equivalent).

Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019

  • When a publication has a second subtitle, include this if important, separating it by a dash (or equivalent).

“Pakistan: Security – Situation report as of 1 May 2020”

          1. Amnesty International outputs77Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT add a description of the format, such as “Press release”. This was inconsistent (it was not required for other formats such as reports).
  • If the output has an Amnesty International index number, include this in round brackets (or equivalent) after the name.

In Search of Safety: Peru Turns Its Back on People Fleeing Venezuela (Index: AMR 46/1675/2020).

  • If the title or subtitle includes the country name, do NOT add a superfluous mention of the country name at the start.

In Search of Safety: Peru Turns Its Back on People Fleeing Venezuela.

Peru: In Search of Safety: Peru Turns Its Back on People Fleeing Venezuela.

  • Remember always to cite previous Amnesty International documents when quoting from them.
          1. In English
  • Use the original spelling of the source even if this does not conform with house style spelling.
  • Use italics and title case forthe titles of major publications such as books, reports and briefings (10 pages or more is a useful rule of thumb), court cases and major broadcasts or productions such as television and radio series and programmes, podcast series, films and plays.

In Search of Safety: Peru Turns Its Back on People Fleeing Venezuela.

  • Use quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the titles of shorter publications such as articles in newspapers, news stories, press releases, public statements, Urgent Actions, blogs, op-eds and other pieces from websites, and the titles of shorter broadcasts or productions such as videos and songs.

“Pakistan: Security – Situation report as of 1 May 2020”

  • Use title case without italics or quotation marks for the titles of other sources, such as international and national legal instruments, UN documents that are not reports, databases and correspondence.

Concluding Observations: United States of America Law of the Judiciary

  • Use quotation marks and sentence case without italics for the titles of subdivisions of sources, such as the chapters of a book or report, or the episodes of a TV or radio series.

“Conditions of imprisonment or detention”

See “5. Capital letters” for more details.

        1. Date of source
  • Include the date of publication or broadcasting of the source.

3 January 2019

  • Provide only the month and year if the date is not available.

January 2019

  • Provide only the year if neither the date nor the month is available.

2019

  • Indicate if static content (such as a report) is undated. You do NOT need to do so for dynamic content, which is often undated.

Undated

  • Indicate the date of updating if applicable in round brackets (or equivalent).

11 November 2017 (updated on 3 June 2021)

        1. Location of source
          1. Web addresses
  • Generally include a web address for sources available on the internet. However, generally do NOT include one for international instruments and standards, UN documents with UN Document numbers or books. These are normally easy to find with a simple internet search.
  • Keep prefixes (protocols), such as “http://”, “https://” and “www.”.88Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

  • Remove any superfluous slash at the end of a web address.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

  • Recognize that web addresses typically have a short life span, so it is important to be meticulous about providing the other data in the reference. Test web addresses before publication to ensure they are correct and still function.
  • Hyperlink the web address for ease of access and use a hyperlink style for ease of recognition. However, be careful that the hyperlink style does not spill over onto adjacent punctuation or words.

https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 3 February 2018)

https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 3 February 2018)

  • Use web addresses of the publishing or broadcasting institution, wherever possible. So, for Amnesty International documents, use an Amnesty International (preferably amnesty.org) web address.
  • Use web addresses which do NOT require payment to access, wherever possible.
  • For static web sources, such as published reports, do NOT include the date of access. The date of publication suffices.
  • When the web address is NOT the official source, but rather an online resource where it can be accessed, use “available at” (or its equivalent in another language).

G20, “G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, 2016, available at http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2016/g20-action-plan-on-2030-agenda.pdf

  • For dynamic web sources, such as text or databases that are regularly updated, include, in round brackets after the web address, the words “accessed on” (or its equivalent in another language) followed by the date on which the information was retrieved.

World Bank, “Overview”, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics Database, https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 3 February 2018).

  • Convert excessively long web addresses or web addresses containing non-Latin scripts into an abbreviated format.99Tip: Copy and paste the web address into an online URL shortener such as Bitly (https://bitly.com) to produce an abbreviated web address.
          1. UN Document number
  • If the source is a UN publication with a UN document number, use this as the location, instead of the web address.
          1. Books, international legal instruments and standards
  • Do NOT include a location for published books or international legal instruments and standards. These are easily located.
          1. ‘On file with Amnesty International’
  • If the source is not public, include “On file with Amnesty International” (or its equivalent in another language) to indicate that Amnesty International possesses a copy.
        1. Location in source
          1. In General
  • Include the page or paragraph number of longer publications for ease of reference.

p. 4 pp. 2-5para. 3paras 26 and 28

  • Do NOT use the Latin-derived symbols “§” or “§§”.

paras 13-14

§§ 13-14

  • When referring to a particular moment or passage of time in an audiovisual source, indicate the time or time period

minute 3:43minute 2:45-2:55

          1. In English
  • Use initial capital letters for major subdivisions of sources, including legal documents.

Appendix BArticle 3Chapter 5Principle 2Rule 23Annex 2Appendix VI

  • Do NOT use abbreviations for these.

Art. 13Chap. 2

  • Use initial lower-case letters for minor subdivisions of sources, including legal documents.

p. 4 pp. 2-5para. 3paras 26 and 28point 5item (i)line 45clause (a)subsection (3)section 3category Btable 3figure 7minute 3:11

Use the abbreviation “p.” when referring to one page only and “pp.” when referring to multiple pages. Leave a character space before the number(s).

p. 4pp. 12-14pp. 1, 2, 5

  • Use the abbreviation “para.” When referring to one paragraph only and “paras” (without a full stop) when referring to multiple paragraphs. Leave a character space before the number(s).

para. 235paras 46-47paras 21, 34, 42

References to sources in other languages

  • If the title of the source is not in the language of the document, in general use the original language version of the title.
  • Do NOT use italics or quotation marks (or equivalents) for titles in languages that use a different script from that of the language of the document.
  • Provide a courtesy translation in square brackets (or equivalent) immediately after the original language version of the title.
  • Add an acknowledgement that the source is in another language (for example, “in Russian”) in round brackets (or equivalent) at the end of the reference.
  • If an official translation is available, you may cite that instead of the original. If an unofficial translation is available, you may mention that in round brackets (or equivalent) after the reference.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy, “Riunione del Comitato misto italo-libico” [“Meeting of the Mixed Italian-Libyan Committee”], 2 July 2020, https://www.esteri.it/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/comunicati/2020/07/riunione-del-comitato-misto-italo-libico (in Italian).Baladi News, استشهاد مدير مشفى الشامي في أريحا بقصف روسي [“Director of Al-Shami hospital in Ariha martyred in Russian bombing”], 1 February 2020, http://bit.ly/2J5FcnB (in Arabic).Sikha Mekomit, בחמש שנים ארבעה-עשר אזרחים נהרגו מירי משטרתי, אפס כתבי אישום [In five years: 14 citizens were killed by police gunfire, zero indictments], 23 January 2019, http://tinyurl.com/723n6v6u (in Hebrew).State of Israel, High Court of Justice (HCJ), Alice Miller v. Minister of Defense, Case HCJ 4541/94, judgment, 8 November 1995, p. 94 (in Hebrew, an unofficial English translation is available at http://www.versa.cardozo.yu.edu/sites/default/files/upload/opinions/Miller%20v.%20Minister%20of%20Defense.pdf).State of Israel, Knesset, הכרזה על מצב חירום [Declaring a State of Emergency], לקסיקון הכנסת [Lexicon of the Knesset], https://m.knesset.gov.il/about/lexicon/pages/emergency-announcment.aspx (in Hebrew, accessed on 29 August 2021).

Introduction of references

  • Do NOT introduce a reference with “See” (or its equivalent in another language) if the reference directly supports a statement or quotation in the text by identifying its source. These references tend to be essential.

According to the Idlib Education Directorate, the de facto education authority in Idlib governorate, nine internally displaced people, including two children, were killed in the air strike on the school.1

Explanation: The reference provides details of the Facebook post containing the statement made in the text, namely that “nine internally displaced people, including two children, were killed in the air strike on the school”. It therefore directly identifies the source of the statement. It was essential to include this reference.

“I dropped my son off at the school at 8am. At around 9am we heard explosions in the city.”1

  • 1 Medical worker, Nkhoma Mission Hospital, interview by voice call, 24 January 2020.

Explanation: The footnote provides details of the source of the quoted speech. It therefore directly supports the quotation in the text by identifying its source. It was essential to include this reference.

  • Introduce a reference with “See” (or its equivalent in another language) if the reference indirectly supports a statement in the text. Add “, for example,” (or its equivalent in another language) to emphasize that the reference is just an example – or a few examples – of the source available to support indirectly the statement. These could be examples of background reading material. These references tend to be non-essential.

North-east Syria is split administratively between different authorities. The area is predominantly run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led alliance of armed groups, in coordination with the Syrian government. An incursion by Turkey in October 2019 put it in effective control of key cities.1

Explanation: The reference does not provide details of an authoritative statement setting out the administration of north-east Syria. It does not therefore directly support the statement in the text. Rather, it gives the details of a newspaper article which provides further details on the nature of the administrative division of north-east Syria. This is useful background reading material. It was not essential to include this reference.

Repeated references

  • For repeated references, always provide the full reference in the first citation.
  • You may repeat the full reference at each citation to avoid confusion.
  • For long references that are frequently repeated, use an abbreviated version in all subsequent citations.1010Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to provide abbreviated versions in brackets at first citation since the use of “(previously cited)” at subsequent citations alerts the reader to look for a longer version in an earlier footnote. There is therefore no need to use “hereinafter” to introduce abbreviated versions; in any case, it is archaic style. For the abbreviated version, use the author (abbreviating as required) and title (abbreviating as required) without the date or the web address. Add “previously cited” (or its equivalent in another language) in round brackets (or equivalent) after the abbreviated version and before any page or paragraph number(s). This alerts the reader to look for a longer version in an earlier footnote.
  • For international legal instruments, place abbreviated version in round brackets (or equivalent) at first citation. However, there is no need to add “previously cited” (or its equivalent in another language) after the abbreviated version at subsequent citations.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “Pakistan: COVID-19 – Situation report as of 1 May 2020”, 1 May 2020, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/pakistan_situation_report_20200501.pdf

  • OCHA, “Pakistan: COVID-19 – Situation report as of 1 May 2020” (previously cited).

Simone Fennell (editor), Global Human Rights Instruments: Volume 7: The African Court of Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights, 2013, pp. 150-155.

  • Charles Parkinson, Bills of Rights and Decolonization: The Emergence of Domestic Human rights Instruments in Britain’s Overseas Territories, 2007, pp. 150-155” and “Charles Parkinson, Bills of Rights and Decolonization (previously cited), p. 162.
  • Do NOT use Latin terms to indicate repeated references:

Ibid.Id.Loc. Cit.Op. cit.Supra

Internal cross-references

  • Use “See” (or its equivalent in another language) followed by the subdivision of the source, the number of the subdivision and then the title of the subdivision in double quotation marks (or equivalent).

See Chapter 4 “Enforced disappearances”See section 2.3 “Arbitrary detention by police”

Evidence management for references

  • Ensure that all references are accurate, complete and correctly presented.
  • During the drafting process, store and tag all sources that will be referenced in an output:
    • If you reference an interview, ensure that a written note and/or transcript and/or recording of the interview has been stored.
    • If you reference a publication or social media post, ensure that you have downloaded a copy (for example, as a pdf file) or captured an image (for example, as a screenshot). This is important given the propensity of sources to disappear from the internet or become very difficult to find.1111Tip: If you are struggling to find a web page, try searching for it in the Internet Archive (https://archive.org).
    • If an article or other item is only available behind a paywall, ensure you have downloaded and saved a copy of it.
    • If you reference a document that is not available on the internet, but rather “on file with Amnesty International”, ensure that you have stored this.
    • If you reference audiovisual evidence other than TV or radio programmes, ensure that you have downloaded and stored this.

Guidance for different sources

International legal instruments

        1. Additional guidance for referencing international legal instruments
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Organization where the legal instrument or standard was adopted or generated (not required for well-known treaties)
    • title of source: Title
    • date of source: date of adoption or entry into force (as relevant)
    • location in source: paragraph, section or article number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • Include the organization where the legal instrument or standard was adopted or generated (for example, in English, “UN”) immediately before the title if needed for clarity.
          1. Title of source
  • Use the full name, not the abbreviation, in the first citation.
  • Avoid use of the abbreviation “No.” (number) (or its equivalent in another language).
  • Do NOT include reference or depositary index numbers (for example, “OAS Treaty Series No. 36; 1144 UNTS 123; 9 ILM 99 (1969)”). They are not needed to identify the document.
  • If a legal instrument or standard has an alternative shorter name, include this in brackets (or equivalent) in the first citation and use the shorter version in subsequent citations.

Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention).Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II).UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules).

  • Otherwise, include an abbreviation in brackets (or equivalent) in the first citation and use the abbreviation in subsequent citations.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

  • In English, use title case in italics for the title.

See “5. International legal instruments” for the list of names of international legal instruments and standards.

          1. Date of source
  • If relevant to the content of the output, optionally include the date of adoption of a legal instrument or standard in the first citation.
  • If relevant to the content of the output, optionally include the date of entry into force of a legal instrument in the first citation. Standards do not have a date of entry into force.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), adopted on 8 June 1977, entered into force on 7 December 1978, Article 3(a).UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (Basic Principles), adopted on 7 September 1990, Principle 5(a).

          1. Location of source
  • Do NOT include a web address. International instruments and standards are easy to find with a simple internet search.
  • Do NOT add character spaces between article numbers and their subdivisions.

Article 3(a)(i)

Article 3 (a) (i)

        1. Examples for international legal instruments

First citation.

  • Subsequent citation.
          1. International human rights treaties

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 19.

  • ICCPR, Article 23.

UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), Article 3.

  • Convention against Torture, Article 5.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Migrant Workers Convention), Article 2(2)(b).

  • Migrant Workers Convention, Article 5.
          1. International humanitarian law treaties

Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), Article 14

  • Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 3(1)(a).

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Article 3(a).

  • Protocol I, Article 5.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Article 13(1).

  • Protocol II, Article 6.
          1. Customary international humanitarian law rules

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rules 1, 15, 20, 28, 71.

  • ICRC, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rule 2.
          1. International criminal law treaties

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7.

  • Rome Statute, Article 2.
          1. International refugee law treaties

UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (UN Refugee Convention), Article 1(F)(a).

  • UN Refugee Convention, Article 3.

UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol), Article VI(b).

  • 1967 Protocol, Article VII(2).
          1. Regional treaties

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), Article 13(1).

  • ACHPR, Article 14.

American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), Article 6.

  • ACHR, Article 4.

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), Article 8.

  • ECHR, Article 9.
          1. International standards

UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (Basic Principles), Principle 5(a).

  • UN Basic Principles, Principle 5(a).

UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (Principles on Extra-legal Executions), Principles 2-4.

  • Principles on Extra-legal Executions, Principle 9.

UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), Rule 5(2).

  • Nelson Mandela Rules, Rule 9.

National legislation in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing national legislation
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas:
    • author of source: Jurisdiction
    • title of source: Title, Reference number (if available)
    • date of source: year of adoption
    • location of source: web address (if available)
    • location in source: article or section or paragraph number(s) (if required), amended on date (if required)
          1. Author of source
  • Mention the jurisdiction, such as the name of the country, unless it is obvious from the context.
          1. Title of source
  • If the legislation is not in the language of the document, use the original language version of the title. Or translate the title into the language of the document and indicate that it is a translation.
  • Avoid use of the abbreviation “No.” (number) (or its equivalent in another language) in front of the reference number of the law.
  • In English, use title case (without italics) for the title.
  • Do NOT include “the” at the start of a title regardless of whether it appears in the source.
          1. Location of source
  • Indicate in a separate sentence if an unofficial translation is available.
        1. Examples for national legislation
          1. Sections of laws

Canada, Extradition Act, 1999, https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-23.01/index.html, Chapter 18, section 1.

          1. Articles of laws (amended versions)

Dominican Republic, Ley 126-02, sobre Comercio Electrónico, Documentos y Firmas Digitales [Law 126-02 on Electronic Commerce, Digital Documents and Signatures], 2002, https://www.aduanas.gob.do/media/2209/126-02_sobre_comercio_electronico_y_firmas_digitales.pdf (in Spanish), Article 2(1)(2) (as amended on 4 September 2013).

          1. Articles of laws (with official translation available)

Saudi Arabia, Law of the Judiciary, 1975, https://www.saudiembassy.net/law-judiciary

          1. Articles of laws (with unofficial translation available)

Egypt, Law of Associations and Other Foundations Working in the Field of Civil Work, Law 70 of 2017, Article 23 (an unofficial English translation is available at https://www.refworld.org/docid/5a4cbae14.html).

Court documents in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing court documents
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Court
    • title of source: Title of Court Case (if applicable), Case or Application Reference, description or title of document
    • date of source: date of document
    • location of source: web address (if available)
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s) (if required)
          1. Author of source
  • Include an abbreviation in brackets in the first citation and use the abbreviation in subsequent citations.
          1. Title of source
  • Use “and others” (or its equivalent in another language) if there is more than one defendant or plaintiff.
  • Avoid use of the abbreviation “No.” (number) (or its equivalent in another language) in front of the case or application reference.
  • The description or title of the document should indicate:
    • the court body or official issuing the document (for example, “Trial Chamber”, “Appeals Chamber”, “President” in English)
    • the nature of the document (for example, “advisory opinion”, “decision”, “indictment”, “judgment”, “opinion”, “order” in English)
  • In English, use “judgment” rather than “judgement” as per meaning 3 of “Judgement” in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).
  • In English, use title case in italics for the title.
  • Include a full stop following the “v.” between the two sides in a court case.
        1. Examples for court documents

First citation

  • Subsequent citation
          1. Judgments

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Prosecutor v. Zdravko Mucić and Others, Case IT-96-21, Trial Chamber judgment, 16 November 1998, https://www.icty.org/x/cases/mucic/tjug/en/981116_judg_en.pdf, para. 36.

  • ICTY, Prosecutor v. Zdravko Mucić and Others, Trial Chamber judgment (previously cited), para. 54.

European Court of Human Rights (EctHR), Medvedyev and Others v. France, Application 3394/03, Grand Chamber judgment, 29 March 2010, https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=002-1015&filename=002-1015.pdf&TID=ihgdqbxnfi, paras 79-80.

  • EctHR, Medvedyev and Others v. France, Grand Chamber judgment (previously cited), para. 108.
          1. Advisory opinions

International Court of Justice (ICJ), Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, advisory opinion, 9 July 2004, https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/131/131-20040709-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf

  • ICJ, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (previously cited).

UN documents with UN Document numbers in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing UN documents with UN Document numbers
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of UN body authoring the document
    • title of source: Description of Document: Title of Report (if applicable)
    • date of source: date of publication or date of adoption and date of entry into force
    • location of source: UN document number
    • location in source: paragraph number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • Use the name of the UN body that has authored the document. Be careful not to use the name of the body to which the document is submitted (such as the “UN Security Council”, “UN General Assembly” or “UN Human Rights Council” in English), even though the document may carry one or more of their names in its header:

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Report: Stigma and the Realization of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation.

UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque: Stigma and the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation.

  • For long names, include an abbreviation in brackets (or equivalent) in the first citation and use the abbreviation in subsequent citations.
          1. Title of source
  • For generic formats of UN publications with UN document numbers use descriptions of the document. Add a reference number after the description where necessary, but avoid use of the abbreviation “No.” (number) (or its equivalent in another language).

Concluding Observations: SudanGeneral Comment 3

General Comment no. 3

General RecommendationReportResolution 68/167StatementViews

  • In addition, add a thematic title (if one is available) after a colon (or equivalent). Periodic reports by special procedures and UN Security Council resolutions tend not to have a thematic title.
  • In English, use title case (without italics) for the description. Use title case in italics for the thematic title.
          1. Date of source
  • In general, use the date of publication of the document.
  • For resolutions and views, use the date of adoption and clarify this by using “adopted on”; in these instances do NOT use the publication date of the document, which generally appears in the top right-hand corner of the document (in English), and may be different.
          1. Location of source
  • For UN publications with a UN document number, include “UN Doc.” (or its equivalent in another language) followed by the reference number. The document can then be found on the UN Official Document System: https://documents.un.org/prod/ods.nsf/home.xsp
          1. Location in source
  • Use “para.” (or its equivalent in another language) for a paragraph in a report.
  • Use “preambular para.” And “operative para.” (or their equivalents in another language) for preambular paragraphs and operative paragraphs in a resolution.
  • Use “recommendation” (or its equivalent in another language) for Universal Periodic Review reports.
        1. Examples for UN documents with UN Doc. numbers

First citation

  • Subsequent citations
          1. UN Treaty bodies: Concluding observations

UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), Concluding Observations: USA, 23 April 2014, UN Doc. CCPR/C/USA/CO/4, paras 5-6.

  • HRC, Concluding Observations: USA, 2014 (previously cited), para. 9.
          1. UN Treaty bodies: General comments

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), General Comment 14: The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health (Art. 12), 11 August 2000, UN Doc. E/C.12/2000/4, para. 2.

  • CESCR, General Comment 14 (previously cited), para. 5.
          1. UN Treaty bodies: General recommendations

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), General Recommendation 36: The Right of Girls and Women to Education, 27 November 2017, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/GC/36, para. 7.

  • CEDAW, General Recommendation 36 (previously cited), para. 9.
          1. UN Treaty bodies: Views

UN Human Rights Committee, Views: A v. Australia, adopted on 3 April 1997, UN Doc. CCPR/C/59/D/560/1993, para. 9.5.

          1. UN Special Procedures: Thematic reports

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Report: Stigma and the Realization of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, 2 July 2012, UN Doc. A/HRC/21/42, para. 40.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Stigma and the Realization of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (previously cited), para. 52.
          1. UN Special Procedures: Country visit reports

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), Report: Visit to Bhutan, 31 July 2019, UN Doc. A/HRC/42/39/Add.1, para. 14.

  • WGAD, Visit to Bhutan (previously cited), para. 17.
          1. UN Special Procedures: Periodic reports

UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights While Countering Terrorism (UN Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism), Report, 28 December 2009, UN Doc. A/HRC/13/37, para. 7.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism, Report, 28 December 2009 (previously cited), para. 10.

UN Independent Expert on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Related to Access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (UN Independent Expert on water and sanitation), Report, 1 July 2009, UN Doc. A/HRC/12/24, paras 64-66 and 70-80.

  • UN Independent Expert on water and sanitation, Report, 1 July 2009 (previously cited),
    para. 19.

          1. Universal Periodic Review Working Group: Reports with recommendations

Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (WG UPR), Report: Sudan, 19 May 2016, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/25/L.5, recommendations 139.6-139.10 (Brazil, Italy, Honduras, Guatemala, Viet Nam, Uruguay, Congo, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Lebanon, Togo, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Denmark, Poland, El Salvador, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Indonesia) and 139.96-139.101 (Togo, Norway, France, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Germany).

  • WG UPR, Report: Sudan (previously cited).
          1. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Thematic reports

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report: Realization of the Right to Work, 20 December 2018, UN Doc. A/HRC/40/31, para. 14.

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Realization of the Right to Work (previously cited), para. 19.
          1. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Country reports

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report: Situation of Human Rights of Rohingya in Rakhine State, Myanmar, 11 March 2019, UN Doc. A/HRC/40/37, para. 12.

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Situation of Human Rights of Rohingya in Rakhine State, Myanmar (previously cited), para. 15.
          1. UN Secretary-General: Reports

UN Secretary-General (UNSG), Report: Future Planning for the Protection of Civilians Sites in South Sudan, 12 September 2019, UN Doc. S/2019/741.

  • UNSG, Future Planning for the Protection of Civilians Sites in South Sudan (previously cited).
          1. UN Security Council: Resolutions

UN Security Council (UNSC), Resolution 2459 (2019), adopted on 15 March 2019, UN Doc. S/RES/2459.

  • UNSC, Resolution 2459 (2019) (previously cited).
          1. UN Security Council: Statements

President of the UN Security Council, Statement, 8 October 2019, UN Doc. S/PRST/2019/11.

UN Security Council, Press statement on South Sudan, 22 November 2019, UN Doc. SC/14033.

          1. UN General Assembly: Resolutions

UN General Assembly (UNGA), Resolution 74/143: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted on 18 December 2019, UN Doc. A/RES/74/143.

  • UNGA, Resolution 74/143 (previously cited).

UN General Assembly, Resolution 95(I): Affirmation of the Principles of International Law Recognized by the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal, adopted on 11 December 1946, UN Doc. A/RES/95.

          1. UN Human Rights Council: Resolutions

UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Resolution 42/25: Situation of Human Rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, adopted on 27 September 2019, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/42/25, operative para. 5.

  • UNHRC, Resolution 42/25 (previously cited), operative para. 7.

UN Human Rights Council, Resolution 26/16: Human Rights and the Regulation of Civilian Acquisition, Possession and Use of Firearms, adopted on 26 June 2014, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/26/16, preambular
para. 6.

Books in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing books
          1. Format of source
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent), to refer to a book as a whole
    • author of source: First name and surname of author of book
    • title of source: Title of Book: Subtitle of Book, Volume number (if required), edition (if required)
    • date of source: year of publication
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
  • Use the following format, separated by commas, to refer to a chapter in a book which has one author or set of authors:
    • author of source: First name and surname of author of chapter
    • title of source: “Title of chapter”, Title of Book: Subtitle of Book, Volume number (if required), edition (if required)
    • date of source: year of publication
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
  • Use the following format, separated by commas, to refer to a chapter in a book in which the author(s) of the chapter is different from the editor(s) of the book as a whole:
    • author of source: First name and surname of author of chapter
    • title of source:“Title of chapter”
    • author of source: in Name of editor(s) (editors)
    • title of source: Title of Book: Subtitle of Book, Volume number (if required), edition (if required)
    • date of source: year of publication
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
          1. Title of source
  • Add the volume number of the publication afterwards if required. There is NO need to add the title of the volume as well.
  • Add the edition numberif there is more than one.
  • In English, use title case in italics for the title. Use title case (without italics) for the volume number.
          1. Date of source
  • Generally include only a year, rather than a date, of publication.
          1. Location of source
  • Do NOT include a web address unless the source is difficult to find through an internet search.
  • Do NOT include the name of the publishing house or the place of publication. They are generally easily identifiable online.
        1. Examples for books
          1. Books as a whole: One author

Javaid Rehman, International Human Rights Law, 2nd edition, 2009, p. 123.

          1. Books as a whole: Two authors

Kapote Mwakasungura and Douglas Miller, Malawi’s Lost Years, 2016, pp. 27-29.

          1. Books as a whole: Three or more authors

David Luban and others, International and Transnational Criminal Law, 3rd edition, 2018, p. 89.

          1. Books as a whole: One editor

Lauri Mälksoo (editor), Russia and the European Court of Human Rights: The Strasbourg Effect, 2018,
pp. 23-34.

          1. Books as a whole: Two editors

Corinne Lennox and Damien Short (editors), Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, 2018, pp. 118-9.

          1. Books as a whole: Three or more Editors

Suzannah Linton and others (editors), Asia-Pacific Perspectives on International Humanitarian Law, 2019, p. 250.

          1. Chapters of a book: author(s)

Nigel Rodley and Matt Pollard, “Conditions of imprisonment or detention”, The Treatment of Prisoners under International Law, 3rd edition, 2009.

          1. Chapters of a book: Chapter author(s) different from book editor(s)

César Calderón and Luis Servén, “Latin America’s infrastructure in the era of macroeconomic crises”, in William Easterly and Luis Servén (editors), The Limits of Stabilization: Infrastructure, Public Deficits and Growth in Latin America, 2003, p. 3.

Other major publications (reports, briefings) in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing major publications
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of publishing institution
    • title of source: Title of Publication: Subtitle of Publication
    • date of source: date of publication
    • location of source: web address
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • The institution may be an intergovernmental organization (such as the UN, AU, EU, G20), a government body, an NGO (such as Amnesty International), a research or policy institute and so on.
          1. Title of source
  • The publication may be a report, briefing, policy paper and so on.
  • For Amnesty International outputs that have an index number, include this in round brackets (or equivalent) after the name.
  • In English, use title case in italics for the title.
          1. Location of source
  • For the G20, note that, as it does not have a secretariat, there is no central depository for outcome documents. For web addresses, use links at the University of Toronto’s G20 website preceded by “available at” (or its equivalent in another language).
        1. Examples for major publications
          1. UN major publications without UN document numbers

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019, 18 June 2020, https://www.unhcr.org/5ee200e37.pdf, p. 6.

  • UNHCR, Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019 (previously cited), figure 1.
          1. AU major publication

African Union (AU) Commission, 2019 African Regional Integration Report: Towards an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, 2019, https://www.unhcr.org/5ee200e37.pdf, Chapter 9.

  • AU Commission, 2019 African Regional Integration Report (previously cited), Chapter 10.
          1. Amnesty International reports and briefings

Amnesty International, Still Waiting for Justice: One Year On from the Violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan (Index: EUR 58/001/2011), 8 June 2011, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/EUR58/001/2011/en/, pp. 5-6.

  • Amnesty International, Still Waiting for Justice (previously cited), pp. 10-11.
          1. Other NGO reports and briefings

Human Rights Watch, “Are We Not Human?”: Denial of Education for Rohingya Refugee Children in Bangladesh, 3 December 2019, https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/12/03/are-we-not-human/denial-education-rohingya-refugee-children-bangladesh, p. 55.

  • Human Rights Watch, “Are We Not Human?” (previously cited), p. 36.
          1. Research or policy Institute publications

Carnegie Endowment for Global Peace, A Spoiler in the Balkans? Russia and the Final Resolution of the Kosovo Conflict, 26 November 2019, https://carnegie.ru/2019/11/26/spoiler-in-balkans-russia-and-final-resolution-of-kosovo-conflict-pub-80429

  • Carnegie Endowment for Global Peace, A Spoiler in the Balkans? (previously cited).

Shorter publications (press releases, statements) in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing shorter publications
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of publishing institution
    • title of source: “Title of publication: Subtitle of publication”
    • date of source: date of publication
    • location of source: web address
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • The institution may be an intergovernmental organization (such as the UN, AU, EU, G20), a government body, an NGO (such as Amnesty International), a research or policy institute and so on.
          1. Title of source
  • The publication may be a press release, public statement, Urgent Action and so on.
  • For Amnesty International outputs that have an index number, include this in round brackets (or equivalent) after the name.
  • For Amnesty International Urgent Actions, do NOT include “Urgent Action” or “Further information” (or its equivalent in another language) in the title.
  • In English, use double quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the title.
          1. Location of source
  • For the G20, note that, as it does not have a secretariat, there is no central depository for outcome documents. For web addresses, use links at the University of Toronto’s G20 website preceded by “available at” (or its equivalent in another language).
        1. Examples for shorter publications
          1. UN short publications without UN document numbers

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “Global forced displacement hits record high”, 20 June 2016, http://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/latest/2016/6/5763b65a4/global-forced-displacement-hits-record-high.html, p. 3.

  • UNHCR, “Global forced displacement hits record high” (previously cited), p. 6.

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), “Bachelet and Ugandan Government sign new agreement on UN Human Rights country office”, 10 February 2020, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25540&LangID=E

  • OHCHR, “Bachelet and Ugandan Government sign new agreement on UN Human Rights country office” (previously cited).

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Press briefing on Libya”, 20 December 2019, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=25445&LangID=E

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Oral update of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Libya pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 40/27”, 25 September 2019, https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25048

          1. G20 short publications

G20, “G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, 2016, available at http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2016/g20-action-plan-on-2030-agenda.pdf

G20, “Okayama Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers”, 20 October 2019, available at http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2019/2019-g20-health.html

          1. EU short publications

Council of the EU, “Council conclusions on Mozambique”, 22 April 2020, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-7467-2020-INIT/en/pdf, para. 6.

          1. Amnesty International press releases and public statements

Amnesty International, “Cuba: Prisoner releases must lead to new human rights environment”, 8 January 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/01/cuba-prisoner-releases

          1. Amnesty International Urgent Actions

Amnesty International, “Israel/OPT: Palestinian lawmaker released – Khalida Jarrar” (Index: MDE 15/9953/2019), 7 March 2019, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/9953/2019/en

          1. Other NGO Press releases

Human Rights Watch, “Allow man trapped at border to enter”, 1 July 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/01/qatar/saudi-arabia-allow-man-trapped-border-enter

Articles in newspapers, magazines, other news providers in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing articles
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of publishing institution
    • title of source: “Title of article: Subtitle of article”
    • date of source: date of publication
    • location of source: web address
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • The publishing institution may be a newspaper (such as the New York Times), a magazine (such as Foreign Affairs, Time), a news agency (such as AFP, AP, Reuters, UN News), a broadcaster (such as Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN) or an exclusively online news provider.1212Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT italicize the names of newspapers or magazines in English. The dividing line between newspapers and periodicals, on the one hand, and news agencies, broadcasters and exclusively online news providers, on the other, has become increasingly blurred.Contrary to some interpretations of previous guidance, do NOT include the name of the individual author of the article. This is available at the web address anyway.
          1. Title of source
  • In English, use double quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the title.
          1. Location of source
  • The web address may not take a general reader directly to the article, as newspapers, magazines and agencies often use a paywall and you may need a subscription to read them. Therefore, it is important to include the other details to enable other kinds of search.
        1. Examples for articles
          1. Newspapers (English-language)

New York Times, “Venezuela’s Maduro claims control of National Assembly, tightening grip on power”, 5 January 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/world/americas/venezuela-noticias-maduro-guaido.html

Guardian, “Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers clash outside al-Aqsa mosque”, 27 July 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/27/israel-removes-further-security-measures-from-al-aqsa-compound

          1. Newspapers (other language)

Clarin, “Por el proyecto del aborto, los obispos no saludarán al Presidente por la Navidad” [“Because of abortion Bill, bishops will not greet President for Christmas”], 15 December 2020, https://www.clarin.com/politica/proyecto-aborto-obispos-saludaran-presidente-navidad_0_e5Z_CFqcE.html (in Spanish).

Asharq Al-Awsat, العراق يسجل 14 وفاة 1533 إصابة جديدة بـ«كورونا» [“Iraq records 14 deaths, 1,533 new coronavirus cases], 17 December 2020, https://bit.ly/3asbvvQ (in Arabic).

          1. Magazines

Foreign Affairs, “The next stage of the Korean peace process: Why Seoul remains optimistic after Hanoi”, 14 March 2019, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/north-korea/2019-03-14/next-stage-korean-peace-process

Time, “‘No safety net.’ How climate change and unprecedented flooding is destroying communities in the Central African Republic”, 24 December 2019, https://time.com/5753900/flooding-central-african-republic

          1. News agencies

AFP, “Thailand awaits election results as junta poised to retain power”, 25 March 2019, https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/thailand-awaits-election-results-junta-poised-retain-power-doc-1f13z03

UN News, “‘Uphold human dignity’, dismantle ‘specious notion of racial superiority’ urges UN chief”, 25 March 2019, https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/03/1035391

          1. Broadcasters

CNN, “Christmas in Hong Kong marked by demonstrations and tear gas”, 26 December 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/25/asia/hong-kong-christmas-protests-intl-hnk/index.html

          1. Online news providers (other language)

HuffPost Algérie, “En Algérie, boycott massif du référendum constitutionnel”, 2 November 2020, https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/algerie-boycott-massif-du-referendum-constitutionnel_fr_5f9facb1c5b6bef9f18f357b?utm_hp_ref=fr-algerie

Journal articles in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing journal articles
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: First name and surname of author
    • title of source: “Title of article”
    • date of source: date of publication
    • location of source: Journal name, Volume number (if applicable), Issue number (if applicable), web address
    • location in source: page or paragraph number(s)
          1. Author of source
  • Journals and institutes tend to clarify that they have no institutional position, so use the individual author’s name rather than the journal or institutes as the author.
          1. Title of source
  • In English, use double quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the title.
          1. Date of source
  • Provide only the month and year if the date of publication is not available.
          1. Location of source
  • Provide the name of the journal followed by the Volume number (if applicable), the Issue number (if applicable) and then the web address.
  • Be aware that articles may not be available to a general reader if they are behind a paywall.
        1. Examples for journal articles
          1. Journal articles

Rama Mani, “From ‘dystopia’ to ‘Ourtopia’: charting a future for global governance”, November 2015, International Affairs, Volume 91, Issue 6, https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/ia/dystopia-ourtopia-charting-future-global-governance/INTA91_6_02_Mani.pdf

Leonie Huijbers and Claire Loven, “Pushing for political and legal change: Protecting the cultural identity of travellers in the Netherlands”, November 2019, Journal of Human Rights Practice, Volume 11, Issue 3, https://academic.oup.com/jhrp/article/11/3/508/5662384

Blogs and op-eds in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing blogs and op-eds
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas:
    • author of source: First name and surname of author
    • title of source: “Title of blog or op-ed”
    • date of source: date of publication
    • location of source: platform, web address
          1. Title of source
  • In English, use double quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the title.
          1. Location of source
  • Provide the name of the platform on which the blog or op-ed was published followed by the web address.
        1. Examples for blogs and op-eds
          1. Blogs

Salil Shetty, “Donald Trump’s war on Muslim refugees shows the gloves are off. So are ours.”, 31 January 2017, Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/donald-trumps-war-on-muslim-refugees_uk_5c7e962be4b078abc6c10f08

          1. Op-eds

Samuel Moyn, “How the human rights movement failed”, 23 April 2018, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/23/opinion/human-rights-movement-failed.html

Dynamic web sources in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing dynamic web sources
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of author
    • title of source: Title of publication
    • date of source: date of publication (if applicable)
    • location of source: web address (accessed on date)
    • location in source: “Label of tab, row, column”
          1. Title of source
  • The publication may be a database or similar.
  • In English, use title case (without italics) for the title.
          1. Date of Source
  • Dynamic web sources are often undated, in which case do NOT include a date.
  • If there is a date of publication, mention it.
  • If there is also a date of updating, mention that in round brackets.
          1. Location of source
  • Include a web address and add date accessed in round brackets (or equivalent) after.
          1. Location in source
  • Include the location in the source as required in quotation marks (or equivalent). This may be the label of a tab, row or column.
        1. Examples for dynamic web sources
          1. Databases

World Bank, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics Database, https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/dataset/health-nutrition-and-population-statistics (accessed on 3 February 2018), “Overview”.

B’Tselem, Settlements, 16 January 2019, http://www.btselem.org/settlements (accessed on 27 August 2021).

B’Tselem, Water Crisis, 11 November 2017 (updated on 3 June 2021), http://www.btselem.org/water (accessed on 29 August 2021).

Social media posts in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing social media posts
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Author
    • title of source: Description of post (for example, “Facebook post” or “Twitter post”): first sentence of post
    • date of source: date of post
    • location of source: web address
    • location in source: comments on post (if applicable)
          1. Title of source
  • Use a description of the post and the first sentence of the post in lieu of a title. Social media posts often have no title.
          1. Location in source
  • If the reference is comments on the post rather than the post itself, note this.
        1. Examples for social media posts
          1. Tweets

White House, Twitter post:

“President Trump’s Proclamation today recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is crucial to the stability of the entire Middle East.”, 25 March 2019, https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1110281568281653248

          1. Facebook posts (other language)

Syria Breaking, Facebook post: مشاهد مؤثرة تظهر لقاء سوري بوالدته بعد 8 سنوات في سجون بشار الأسد ( فيديو ) {“Emotive scenes of Syrian meeting his mother after 8 years in Bashar al-Assad’s prisons (video)”] 25 March 2019, https://www.facebook.com/syria.breaking/posts/2072594436200180 (in Arabic), comments.

Audiovisual sources in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing audiovisual sources
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: Name of broadcaster
    • title of source: “Title of broadcast” (if shorter or part of a series), Title of broadcast or series (if longer)
    • date of source: date of original broadcast
    • location of source: web address
    • location in source: time within recording (if required)
          1. Title of source
  • In English, use title case in italics for the titles of major broadcasts such as television and radio series and programmes, podcast series and films.
  • Use double quotation marks and sentence case (capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle) for the titles of shorter broadcasts or productions such as videos and songs.
        1. Examples for audiovisual sources
          1. TV Programmes

CNN, Troubled Waters, 28 February 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/02/28/cfp-troubled-waters-ghana-documentary.cnn

          1. Episodes of TV series

BBC, “Trump’s first 100 days”, Panorama, 24 April 2017, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ntbpm

          1. Videos

Amnesty International Australia, “50 years of Amnesty International”, 14 December 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX-WnlOCvXw

hhbdkhan, “Free Syrian Army – True mujahideen 2.0”, 24 October 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSlNNEAtPmc, minute 3:43.

          1. Podcasts

UN News, “Podcast: Inside the world’s worst humanitarian ‘nightmare’”, 2 November 2017, https://news.un.org/en/audio/2017/11/635442

Correspondence in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing correspondence
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: sender, description of sender (if required)
    • title of source: description of communication (for example, email or letter) to recipient
    • date of source: date of communication
    • location of source: “on file with Amnesty International” (if applicable)
        1. Examples for correspondence
          1. Emails

Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, Hong Kong, email to Amnesty International, 25 February 2017, on file with Amnesty International.

          1. Letter

Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, Hong Kong, letter to Hong Kong’s Department of Health, 25 February 2017, on file with Amnesty International.

          1. Letter or memorandum from Amnesty International

Amnesty International, Letter to Head of Judiciary, Iran, 19 October 2019, on file with Amnesty International.

Amnesty International, Memorandum to Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Mali, 30 April 2020, on file with Amnesty International.

Interviews in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing interviews
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: name of entity conducting interview (if required)
    • title of source: nature of interview, name and description of interviewee (if appropriate)
    • date of source: date of interview
    • location of source: place of interview (if appropriate)
          1. Author of source
  • If the entity conducting the interviews referenced is consistently Amnesty International and this has been established in the methodology, omit mention of Amnesty International.
  • Include the interviewer if the entity conducting the interview is not Amnesty International or otherwise not clear. This may be the case if the output is the product of joint research with another organization and both Amnesty International and the partner organization have conducted interviews.
          1. Title of source
  • Use “interview” (or its equivalent in another language) for information-gathering exercises. These include interviews with victims and survivors, witnesses, advocates and representatives of NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and governments.
  • Begin the title with the word “interview” (or its equivalent in another language).
  • Use “interview in person” (or its equivalent in another language) for in-person interviews.
  • Use “interview by video call” (or its equivalent in another language) for interviews using video on electronic devices such as mobile telephones, tablets and computers using telecommunications applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, Wire and Zoom. Do NOT use the brand names themselves.
  • Use “interview by voice call” (or its equivalent in another language) for interviews without video on land line or mobile telephones and other electronic devices such as tablets and computers using telecommunications applications such as Signal, Skype, WhatsApp and Wire. Do NOT use the brand names themselves.
  • If the interview was partly by video call, but the video link had to be turned off because of bandwidth or other considerations, use “interview by video call” (or its equivalent in another language) but indicate in the methodology the limitations on the use of video.
  • If all the interviews referenced are of the same nature (that is they were all “in person” or “by video call” or “by voice call”), you may omit these phrases in the references and clarify this in the methodology.
  • Ensure that interviewees and interviews are distinguishable from one another. If the interviewee cannot be named in full, use one of the following options and clarify the approach taken in the methodology:
    • the first name only with, on first mention, clarification in round brackets (or equivalent) that the surname has been withheld
    • a pseudonym in quotation marks (or equivalent) with, on first mention, clarification in round brackets (or equivalent) that the name has been changed
    • initials in quotation marks (or equivalent), for example, where the output repeatedly refers to a number of individuals who are anonymized but need to be clearly distinguished from one another
    • a descriptive phrase (for example, in English, “a medical worker”, “a witness”, “a family member of someone detained”, “a member of a local human rights organization”)
  • If the statement in the text is the result of interviews with several different interviewees, you may refer to multiple interviewees in one reference.
          1. Date of source
  • If the date of interview is withheld for security reasons, clarify this in the first citation.
          1. Location of source
  • Include the place of interview for in-person interviews.
  • If the place of interview is withheld for security reasons, clarify this in the first citation. If the place of interview is consistently withheld throughout the output, clarify this in the methodology.
        1. Examples for interviews
          1. Interviews in person with named individuals

Interview in person with Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, 25 February 2017, Hong Kong.

Interview in person with Gonzalo Herrera, UNICEF representative, 16 September 2020, Buenos Aires.

          1. Interviews by video call with named individuals

Interview by video call with Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, 25 February 2017.

Interview by video call with Sezen Yıldırım, Turkish Ministry of Justice spokesperson, 30 March 2019.

          1. Interviews by voice call with named individuals

Interview by voice call with Adeline Nolin, doctor at St Mary’s Children’s Hospital, 25 February 2017.

          1. Interviews with individuals who cannot be named in full

Interview in person with Tsega (surname withheld for security reasons), Ethiopian migrant domestic worker, 12 December 2019, Beirut.

Interview in person with “Fredrick” (name changed for security reasons), former detainee, 6 August 2016, Nairobi.

Interview in person with “AA”, 3 September 2020, Lima.

Interview in person with a member of the Sundown Centre Women’s Group (name withheld for security reasons), 3 February 2018, Nairobi.

Interview by video call with a witness, 20 March 2020.

Interview by voice call with a family member of a detainee, 20 March 2020.

          1. Interviews with multiple individuals who cannot be named

Interviews by video call with five family members of the individual killed (conducted separately), 20-25 July 2000.

          1. Interview by partner organization in joint output

Human Rights Watch, interview with Joseph Li, doctor at Alice Ho Mui Ling Nethersole Hospital, 28 February 2017, Hong Kong.

Meetings in references

        1. Additional guidance for referencing meetings
          1. Format of reference
  • Use the following format, separated by commas (or equivalent):
    • author of source: name of entity reporting on meeting (if required)
    • title of source: description of meeting
    • date of source: date of meeting
    • location of source: place of meeting
          1. Author of source
  • If the entity reporting on the meetings is consistently Amnesty International and this has been established in the methodology, omit mention of Amnesty International.
  • If Amnesty International conducted the meeting with other organizations, mention both Amnesty International and the other organizations. Name the other organizations unless the list is too long.
          1. Title of source
  • Use “meeting” (or its equivalent in another language) as opposed to “interview” for institutional interactions, such as those between Amnesty International and government bodies or intergovernmental organizations. An interaction involving multiple organizations is likely to be a “meeting” rather than an “interview”.
  • Begin the title with the word “meeting” (or its equivalent in another language).
        1. Examples for meetings
          1. Meeting between Amnesty International and a government body

Meeting with Ghanaian Minister of Justice, 30 November 2020, Accra.

          1. Meeting between Amnesty International & other organizations and a government body

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders, meeting with Ghanaian Minister of Justice, 30 November 2020, Accra.

Amnesty International and 10 other NGOs, meeting with Ghanaian Minister of Justice, 30 November 2020, Accra.

Names

4.1 Place names 57

4.1.1 Country names and nationalities 57

4.1.2 Names for places other than countries 63

4.1.3 Indications of type of place 65

4.2 People’s names 65

4.2.1 People’s names in general 65

4.2.2 People’s names in transliteration 65

4.3 Entities’ names 66

4.3.1 Entities’ names in general 66

4.3.2 Entities’ names in translation 66

4.3.3 Entities’ names in original language 67

This chapter provides guidance on conventions to use for the names of places, people and entities (such as organizations). All examples of names are provided in English, but their equivalents in other languages can often be found at the websites mentioned. Note that when reference is made to the use of punctuation such as brackets, commas and quotation marks, these may need to be substituted by their equivalents in languages other than English.

Place names

Country names and nationalities

In English, use the short name of countries in the following table. For UN member states, these generally correspond to the short-form name on the list of UN member states (http://www.un.org/en/member-states). For other countries, these correspond to names provided in the UNTERM database (https://unterm.un.org). For other languages, refer to these two websites.

In English, use the terms in the “nationality” and “national” columns to refer to the nationality associated with a country and the name for “nationals” of that country. Use the terms in the “nationality” column adjectivally, for example “Albanian citizen”, “Antigua and Barbuda government”, “Cook Islands authorities”.

Use the term in the “national” column as a noun for one or more of nationals of the country, for example “one Albanian”, “five Albanians”. In a few cases, there is a different term for the collective noun, for example, “the Spanish” as opposed to “five Spaniards”; this is indicated. Terms in other languages will obviously differ and are not provided here.

SHORT NAME FULL TITLE NATIONALITY NATIONAL [NATIONALS]
Afghanistan Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Afghan Afghan [Afghans]
Albania Republic of Albania, the Albanian Albanian [Albanians]
Algeria People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Algerian Algerian [Algerians]
Andorra Principality of Andorra, the Andorran Andorran [Andorrans]
Angola Republic of Angola Angolan Angolan [Angolans]
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda1313In relation to Antigua and Barbuda, do not use “Antiguan” or “Barbudan”, which refer to the component parts of “Antigua” and “Barbuda” respectively. Antigua and Barbuda national[s]
Argentina Argentine Republic, the Argentinian Argentinian / Argentine [Argentinians / Argentines]
Armenia Republic of Armenia, the Armenian Armenian [Armenians]
Australia Australia Australian Australian [Australians]
Austria Republic of Austria, the Austrian Austrian [Austrians]
Azerbaijan Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Azerbaijani [Azerbaijanis]
Bahamas, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Bahamian Bahamian [Bahamians]
Bahrain Kingdom of Bahrain, the Bahraini Bahraini [Bahrainis]
Bangladesh People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi Bangladeshi [Bangladeshis]
Barbados Barbados Barbadian Barbadian [Barbadians]
Belarus Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian Belarusian [Belarusians]
Belgium Kingdom of Belgium, the Belgian Belgian [Belgians]
Belize Belize Belizean Belizean [Belizeans]
Benin Republic of Benin, the Beninese Beninese [Beninese]
Bhutan Kingdom of Bhutan, the Bhutanese Bhutanese [Bhutanese]
Bolivia Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Bolivian Bolivian [Bolivians]
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina national[s]
Botswana Republic of Botswana, the Botswanan Botswanan [Botswanans]
Brazil Federative Republic of Brazil, the Brazilian Brazilian [Brazilians]
Brunei Darussalam Brunei Darussalam Bruneian Bruneian [Bruneians]
Bulgaria Republic of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Bulgarian [Bulgarians]
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Burkinabe Burkinabe [Burkinabes]
Burundi Republic of Burundi, the Burundian Burundian [Burundians]
Cabo Verde Republic of Cabo Verde, the Cabo Verdean Cabo Verdean [Cabo Verdeans]
Cambodia Kingdom of Cambodia, the Cambodian Cambodian [Cambodians]
Cameroon Republic of Cameroon, the Cameroonian Cameroonian [Cameroonians]
Canada Canada Canadian Canadian [Canadians]
Central African Republic (CAR), the Central African Republic, the Central African Central African [Central Africans]
Chad Republic of Chad, the Chadian Chadian [Chadians]
Chile Republic of Chile, the Chilean Chilean [Chileans]
China People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Chinese [Chinese]
Colombia Republic of Colombia, the Colombian Colombian [Colombians]
Comoros, the Union of the Comoros, the Comorian Comorian [Comorians]
Congo, the Republic of the Congo, the Congolese Congolese [Congolese]
Cook Islands, the Cook Islands, the Cook Islands Cook Islander [Cook Islanders]
Costa Rica Republic of Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Costa Rican [Costa Ricans]
Côte d’Ivoire Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorian Ivorian [Ivorians]
Croatia Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Croatian [Croatians]
Cuba Republic of Cuba, the Cuban Cuban [Cubans]
Cyprus Republic of Cyprus, the Cypriot Cypriot [Cypriots]
Czechia Czech Republic, the Czech Czech [Czechs]
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of

the Congo (DRC)

Congolese [Congolese]
Denmark Kingdom of Denmark, the Danish Dane [Danes]
Djibouti Republic of Djibouti, the Djiboutian Djiboutian [Djiboutians]
Dominica Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominica Dominica national[s]
Dominican Republic, the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Dominican [Dominicans]
Ecuador Republic of Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Ecuadorian [Ecuadorians]
Egypt Arab Republic of Egypt, the Egyptian Egyptian [Egyptians]
El Salvador Republic of El Salvador, the Salvadoran Salvadoran [Salvadorans]
Equatorial Guinea Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Equatorial Guinean Equatorial Guinean [Equatorial Guineans]
Eritrea State of Eritrea, the Eritrean Eritrean [Eritreans]
Estonia Republic of Estonia, the Estonian Estonian [Estonians]
Eswatini Kingdom of Eswatini, the Eswatini Eswatini national[s]
Ethiopia Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Ethiopian [Ethiopians]
Fiji Republic of Fiji, the Fijian Fijian [Fijians]
Finland Republic of Finland, the Finnish Finn [Finns]
France French Republic, the French French national[s]

Collective: the French

Gabon Gabonese Republic, the Gabonese Gabonese [Gabonese]
Gambia Republic of the Gambia, the Gambian Gambian [Gambians]
Georgia Georgia Georgian Georgian [Georgians]
Germany Federal Republic of Germany, the German German [Germans]
Ghana Republic of Ghana, the Ghanaian Ghanaian [Ghanaians]
Greece Hellenic Republic Greek Greek [Greeks]
Grenada Grenada Grenadian Grenadian [Grenadians]
Guatemala Republic of Guatemala, the Guatemalan Guatemalan [Guatemalans]
Guinea Republic of Guinea, the Guinean Guinean [Guineans]
Guinea-Bissau Republic of Guinea-Bissau, the Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau national[s]
Guyana Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Guyanese Guyanese [Guyanese]
Haiti Republic of Haiti, the Haitian Haitian [Haitians]
Honduras Republic of Honduras, the Honduran Honduran [Hondurans]
Hungary Hungary Hungarian Hungarian [Hungarians]
Iceland Republic of Iceland, the Icelandic Icelander [Icelanders]
India Republic of India, the Indian Indian [Indians]
Indonesia Republic of Indonesia, the Indonesian Indonesian [Indonesians]
Iran Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Iranian [Iranians]
Iraq Republic of Iraq, the Iraqi Iraqi [Iraqis]
Ireland Ireland Irish Irish national[s]

Collective: the Irish

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) State of Israel, the Israeli Israeli [Israelis]
Italy Republic of Italy, the Italian Italian [Italians]
Jamaica Jamaica Jamaican Jamaican [Jamaicans]
Japan Japan Japanese Japanese [Japanese]
Jordan Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Jordanian Jordanian [Jordanians]
Kazakhstan Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kazakhstani1414In relation to Kazakhstan, do not use “Kazakh”, which refers to the ethnic group. Kazakhstani [Kazakhstanis]
Kenya Republic of Kenya, the Kenyan Kenyan [Kenyans]
Kiribati Republic of Kiribati, the Kiribati Kiribati [Kiribatis]
Kosovo*1515The asterisk refers to the following internationally agreed qualification: “This designation (Kosovo*) is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.” Kosovo* Kosovan Kosovan [Kosovans]
Kuwait State of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Kuwaiti [Kuwaitis]
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz Republic, the Kyrgyzstani1616In relation to Kyrgyzstan, do not use “Kyrgyz”, which refers to the ethnic group. Kyrgyzstani [Kyrgyzstanis]
Laos Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Lao Laotian [Laotians]
Latvia Republic of Latvia, the Latvian Latvian [Latvians]
Lebanon Lebanese Republic, the Lebanese Lebanese [Lebanese]
Lesotho Kingdom of Lesotho, the Lesotho Lesotho national[s]
Liberia Republic of Liberia, the Liberian Liberian [Liberians]
Libya State of Libya, the Libyan Libyan [Libyans]
Liechtenstein Principality of Liechtenstein, the Liechtenstein Liechtensteiner [Liechtensteiners]
Lithuania Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Lithuanian [Lithuanians]
Luxembourg Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Luxembourger [Luxembourgers]
Madagascar Republic of Madagascar, the Malagasy Malagasy [Malagasies]
Malawi Republic of Malawi, the Malawian Malawian [Malawians]
Malaysia Malaysia Malaysian Malaysian [Malaysians]
Maldives Republic of Maldives, the Maldivian Maldivian [Maldivians]
Mali Republic of Mali, the Malian Malian [Malians]
Malta Republic of Malta, the Maltese Maltese [Maltese]
Marshall Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Marshallese Marshallese
Mauritania Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Mauritanian Mauritanian [Mauritanians]
Mauritius Republic of Mauritius, the Mauritian Mauritian [Mauritians]
Mexico United Mexican States, the Mexican Mexican [Mexicans]
Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia, the Micronesian Micronesian [Micronesians]
Moldova Republic of Moldova, the Moldovan Moldovan [Moldovans]
Monaco Principality of Monaco, the Monégasque Monégasque [Monégasques]
Mongolia Mongolia Mongolian Mongolian [Mongolians]
Montenegro Montenegro Montenegrin Montenegrin [Montenegrins]
Morocco / Western Sahara Kingdom of Morocco, the Moroccan /

Sahrawi

Moroccan [Moroccans] /

Sahrawi [Sahrawis]

Mozambique Republic of Mozambique, the Mozambican Mozambican
Myanmar Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Myanmar Myanmar national[s]
Namibia Republic of Namibia, the Namibian Namibian [Namibians]
Nauru Republic of Nauru, the Nauruan Nauruan [Nauruans]
Nepal Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Nepalese Nepalese [Nepalese]
Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Dutch Dutch national[s]

Collective: the Dutch

New Zealand New Zealand New Zealand New Zealander [New Zealanders]
Nicaragua Republic of Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan Nicaraguan [Nicaraguans]
Niger Republic of Niger, the Niger1717In relation to Niger, do not use “Nigerien”, which is used in French, but not in English. Niger national[s]
Nigeria Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigerian Nigerian [Nigerians]
Niue Niue Niuean Niuean [Niueans]
North Korea Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North Korean North Korean [North Koreans]
North Macedonia Republic of North Macedonia, the North Macedonian North Macedonian [North Macedonians]
Norway Kingdom of Norway, the Norwegian Norwegian [Norwegians]
Oman Sultanate of Oman, the Omani Omani [Omanis]
Pakistan Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Pakistani Pakistani [Pakistanis]
Palau Republic of Palau, the Palauan Palauan [Palauans]
Palestine (State of) State of Palestine, the Palestinian Palestinian [Palestinians]
Panama Republic of Panama, the Panamanian Panamanian [Panamanians]
Papua New Guinea (PNG) Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinean (PNG) Papua New Guinean [Papua New Guineans]
Paraguay Republic of Paraguay, the Paraguayan Paraguayan [Paraguayans]
Peru Republic of Peru, the Peruvian Peruvian [Peruvians]
Philippines, the Republic of the Philippines, the Philippine Filipino/Filipina [Filipinos]
Poland Republic of Poland, the Polish Pole [Poles]
Portugal Portuguese Republic, the Portuguese Portuguese [Portuguese]
Puerto Rico Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Puerto Rican [Puerto Ricans]
Qatar State of Qatar, the Qatari Qatari [Qataris]
Romania Romania Romanian Romanian [Romanians]
Russia Russian Federation, the Russian Russian [Russians]
Rwanda Republic of Rwanda, the Rwandan Rwandan [Rwandans]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis national[s]
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia Saint Lucian Saint Lucian [Saint Lucians]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines national[s]
Samoa Independent State of Samoa, the Samoan Samoan [Samoans]
San Marino Republic of San Marino, the San Marinese San Marinese [San Marinese]
Sao Tome and Principe Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, the Sao Tome and Principe1818In relation to Sao Tome and Principe, do not use “Sao Tomean”, which refers to “Sao Tome” only. Sao Tome and Principe national[s]
Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian / Saudi Saudi Arabian / Saudi [Saudi Arabians / Saudis]
Senegal Republic of Senegal, the Senegalese Senegalese [Senegalese]
Serbia Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Serbian [Serbians]
Seychelles, the Republic of Seychelles, the Seychelles Seychellois [Seychellois]
Sierra Leone Republic of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leonean Sierra Leonean [Sierra Leoneans]
Singapore Republic of Singapore, the Singaporean Singaporean [Singaporeans]
Slovakia Slovak Republic, the Slovak Slovak [Slovaks]
Slovenia Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Slovenian [Slovenians]
Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Solomon Islander [Solomon Islanders]
Somalia Federal Republic of Somalia, the Somali Somali [Somalis]
South Africa Republic of South Africa, the South African South African [South Africans]
South Korea Republic of Korea, the South Korean South Korean [South Koreans]
South Sudan Republic of South Sudan, the South Sudanese South Sudanese [South Sudanese]
Spain Kingdom of Spain, the Spanish Spaniard [Spaniards]

Collective: the Spanish

Sri Lanka Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Sri Lankan [Sri Lankans]
Sudan Republic of the Sudan, the Sudanese Sudanese [Sudanese]
Suriname Republic of Suriname, the Surinamese Surinamese [Surinamese]
Sweden Kingdom of Sweden, the Swedish Swede [Swedes]
Switzerland Swiss Confederation, the Swiss Swiss [Swiss]
Syria Syrian Arab Republic, the Syrian Syrian [Syrians]
Taiwan Taiwan Taiwanese Taiwanese [Taiwanese]
Tajikistan Republic of Tajikistan, the Tajikistani1919In relation to Tajikistan, do not use “Tajik”, which refers to the ethnic group. Tajikistani [Tajikistanis]
Tanzania United Republic of Tanzania, the Tanzanian Tanzanian [Tanzanians}
Thailand Kingdom of Thailand, the Thai Thai [Thais]
Timor-Leste Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the Timorese Timorese [Timorese]
Togo Togolese Republic, the Togolese Togolese [Togolese]
Tonga Kingdom of Tonga, the Tongan Tongan [Tongans]
Trinidad and Tobago Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago2020In relation to Trinidad and Tobago, do not use “Trinidadian” or “Tobagan”, which refer to the component parts of “Trinidad” and “Tobago” respectively. Trinidad and Tobago national[s]
Tunisia Republic of Tunisia, the Tunisian Tunisian [Tunisians]
Türkiye2121The country’s name changed from “Turkey” in 2022. Republic of Türkiye, the Turkish Turk [Turks]
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Turkmenistani2222In relation to Turkmenistan, do not use “Turkmen”, which refers to the ethnic group. Turkmenistani [Turkmenistanis]
Tuvalu Tuvalu Tuvaluan Tuvaluan [Tuvaluans]
Uganda Republic of Uganda Ugandan Ugandan [Ugandans]
Ukraine Ukraine Ukrainian Ukrainian [Ukrainians]
United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Arab Emirates, the Emirati / United Arab Emirates (UAE) Emirati [Emiratis]
United Kingdom (UK), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British / United Kingdom (UK) United Kingdom (UK) national[s]
United States of America (USA), the United States of America, the US2323In relation to the USA, do not use “American”, which refers to the continent. United States (US) national[s]
Uruguay Eastern Republic of Uruguay, the Uruguayan Uruguayan [Uruguayans]
Uzbekistan Republic of Uzbekistan, the Uzbekistani2424In relation to Uzbekistan, do not use “Uzbek”, which refers to the ethnic group. Uzbekistani [Uzbekistanis]
Vanuatu Republic of Vanuatu, the Vanuatuan Vanuatuan [Vanuatuans]
Vatican City2525Vatican City is the name of the state. The Holy See (often referred to as the Vatican) is the entity that has sovereignty over it and conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf with other states, including at the UN; it is also the governing body of the worldwide Catholic Church. Vatican City State Vatican Vatican national[s]
Venezuela Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Venezuelan Venezuelan [Venezuelans]
Viet Nam Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the Vietnamese Vietnamese [Vietnamese]
Yemen Republic of Yemen, the Yemeni Yemeni [Yemenis]
Zambia Republic of Zambia, the Zambian Zambian [Zambians]
Zimbabwe Republic of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean Zimbabwean [Zimbabweans]

By way of further explanation, the short names in the table above generally correspond to the short-form names in the UN’s list of member states (http://www.un.org/en/member-states). However, Amnesty International uses an internationally accepted shorthand for the names of some UN member states that choose to use their long-form name as their short-form name. UN bodies sometimes use them when not providing the name in full. International media invariably use them. They are as follows:

UN SHORT-FORM NAME
(SAME AS LONG-FORM NAME)
INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED SHORTHAND VERSION USED BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) Bolivia
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea North Korea
Gambia (Republic of The) Gambia
Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iran
Lao People’s Democratic Republic Laos
Micronesia (Federated States of) Micronesia
Republic of Korea South Korea
Republic of Moldova Moldova
Russian Federation

Syrian Arab Republic

Russia

Syria

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland United Kingdom
United Republic of Tanzania Tanzania
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Versions in other languages are provided in the UNTERM database (https://unterm.un.org).

The full title of a UN member state, as provided at the top of an annual report entry following mention of the short name, always corresponds to the long-form name in the UN’s terminology database (https://unterm.un.org).

Names for places other than countries

        1. Place names in same script

When in doubt regarding the spelling of place names in the same script as the language of the text, search for the name in the GeoNames database (https://www.geonames.org) and use the preferred spelling.2626Tip: If no results show initially, click “advanced search” and tick “fuzzy search”. This is identifiable by clicking on “Alternate names”, locating the desired language and choosing the first spelling (if there is more than one).

France: Marseille

Marseille

Marseilles

Include diacritics (marks such as accents placed over, under or through a letter) when these appear in the preferred spelling. Do NOT include them when they do not appear in the preferred spelling.

China: Ürümqi

Ürümqi

UrumqiOuroumtchi

Germany: Zurich

Zurich

Zürich

        1. Place names in Transliteration

If the place name is transliterated from another script, search for the name in the GeoNames database (https://www.geonames.org) and use the preferred spelling. This is identifiable by clicking on “Alternate names”, locating the desired language and choosing the first spelling (if there is more than one). Alternatively use consistently an authoritative source for the spelling of place names and provide this source for inclusion in a future version of this operational policy.

Armenia: Tsaghkadzor

Tsaghkadzor

Tsakhkadzor

Iran: Vakilabad

Vakilabad

Vakil Abad

Israel: Acre

Acre

AkkaAkko

Russia: Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

Sankt-Peterburg

Saudi Arabia: Mecca

Mecca

Makkah

United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Abū Z̧abī

For Arabic place names that the GeoNames database spells with “Al” or variants, use “Al-” (with capital “A” and hyphen) invariably.

Yemen: Al-Hudaydah

Al-Hudaydah

Al HudaydahHodeida

Indications of type of place

On first reference to a place name, indicate the type of place referred to, using terms such as, in English, “capital”, “city”, “town” and “village” for localities and terms such as, in English, “municipality”, “district”, “county”, “state”, “province” and “governorate” for administrative divisions within the country and terms such as, in English, “neighbourhood” and “region” for looser descriptions of areas. The type of place referred to will not be obvious to many readers. In addition, some localities have the same name as the administrative divisions in which they sit and so a distinction needs to be drawn.

When preparing documents for translation, include comments on the type of place if these are not included in the text as some languages use different prepositions for different types of places.

People’s names

People’s names in general

Generally, give a person’s full name on first reference. After that you may abbreviate the name in a culturally appropriate way, but use the same abbreviation throughout the document. If in doubt, use first name and surname throughout.

When using pseudonyms, use double quotation marks (or equivalent) consistently around them.

“Randa” (not her real name)

People’s names in transliteration

If the name is transliterated from another script, follow the guidance below. Above all, maintain consistency of spelling in the same document.

        1. Personal preference

Follow the personal preference of the person for the spelling of their name wherever possible. Ideally check with them directly. If that is not possible, check their website or social media account or the website of an institution they represent.

Mohamed ElBaradei: https://twitter.com/BaradeiOfficial

Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohammad al-Barad’i

        1. Historical figures

In English, follow the spelling at Oxford Reference (https://www.oxfordreference.com). In other languages, use another authoritative source.

Muhammad (the prophet)

Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Mohammed

Entities’ names

Entities’ names in general

Spell the names of entities, such as organizations, as they do themselves. Check their website if in doubt.

Al Jazeera: https://network.aljazeera.net/about-us/timeline

Al Jazeera

al-Jazeera

Asharq Al-Awsat: https://english.aawsat.com

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: https://www.opcw.org

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Entities’ names in translation

For entities whose original name is in another language, use the translation into the language of the document if this is commonly used. In general, there is no need to also provide the name in the original language. You may wish to do so in brackets (or equivalent) on first mention if the name in the original language is also commonly used in texts written in the language of the document (to help identify the entity in question), but then repeat the commonly used translation on subsequent mentions. Provide in brackets (or equivalent) the name of the entity in the original language on first mention if an abbreviation (such as an acronym or initialism) derived from the name in the original language is commonly used in texts written in the language of the document and will be used on subsequent mentions. In this case, place the abbreviation after a comma (or equivalent) within the same brackets (or equivalent).

For entities such as political groups that have alternative translations in common usage, use the preferred translation in the UN Terminology Database (https://unterm.un.org).

National Rally (France)

France’s National Rally (Rassemblement national) party

France’s Rassemblement national (National Rally) party

Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (China): https://untermportal.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=Turkistan%20Islamic%20Movement

Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement

East Turkestan Islamic Movement

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (Colombia):

https://untermportal.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=Revolutionary%20Armed%20Forces%20of%20Colombia-People%27s%20Army

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP)

Islamic State

Use “the Islamic State armed group” (or its equivalent in another language) on first mention and “Islamic State” (without “the”) (or its equivalent in another language) on subsequent mentions.2727Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.

The Islamic State armed group committed war crimes…Islamic State retreated

Daesh

Entities’ names in original language

If the entity is known in the language of the document by the original-language version of its name rather than a translation, use that. Add a translation or other description in round brackets (or equivalent) after the name if required for the audience.

For entities such as political groups that have alternative transliterations in common usage, use the preferred spelling on the UN Terminology Database (https://unterm.un.org). Otherwise use the transliteration that the entity itself prefers, as expressed on its official website or social media account.

Al-Nusra Front (Syria): https://untermportal.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=nusra%20front

Al-Nusra Front

Front of Supporters

Al-Qaida: https://unterm.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=al-qaida

Al-Qaida2828Contrary to previous guidance, use “Al-Qaida” rather than “al-Qa’ida”.

Al-Qaedaal-Qaidaal-Qa’idaAl-Qa’idah

Hizbullah (Lebanon): https://unterm.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=hizbullah

Hizbullah

Hezbollah

Taliban (Afghanistan): https://unterm.un.org/unterm/search?urlQuery=taliban

Taliban

Taleban

International legal instruments

5.1 Explanatory notes on legal instruments 69

5.1.1 Organizations and forums generating legal instruments 69

5.1.2 Titles of legal instruments 69

5.2 Human rights in general 70

5.3 Administration of justice, law enforcement 71

5.4 Business, corporations, institutions 72

5.5 Children 72

5.6 Consular relations 73

5.7 Crimes under international law 73

5.8 Death penalty 73

5.9 Disabilities 74

5.10 Discrimination, racism, minorities, Indigenous Peoples 74

5.11 Economic, social and cultural rights, development, environment 75

5.12 Employment, forced labour 75

5.13 Extradition 76

5.14 Human rights defenders 76

5.15 International humanitarian law 76

5.16 Older persons 77

5.17 Refugees, migrants, displacement, nationality, statelessness 77

5.18 Remedy, reparation and impunity 78

5.19 Terrorism 78

5.20 Torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions 78

5.21 Trafficking in human beings, slavery 79

5.22 Weapons, military 79

5.23 Women 80

This chapter provides a list of international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law instruments, as well as selected regional human rights instruments. The list is not designed to be comprehensive, but to contain the key state-adopted treaties and standards that are cited frequently by Amnesty International. Standards adopted by groups of experts and civil society are not included. The instruments are clustered by theme. The first is human rights in general; the rest of the themes are in alphabetical order. Within each theme, global instruments are presented first, then regional ones, which are grouped by Amnesty International region. The list clarifies the formal title of each instrument and (where they exist) the abbreviated form of the title, the alternative name of the instrument and the body that monitors its implementation. All titles are provided in English, but titles in other languages can be found at the websites mentioned below.

Explanatory notes on legal instruments

Organizations and forums generating legal instruments

Preceding each entry is the abbreviation of the intergovernmental organization or forum where the instrument was adopted or generated. These organizations and forums are listed below, with the website containing its official documents provided in brackets after the name.

        1. Global

UN United Nations (https://digitallibrary.un.org)

ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross (https://ihl-databases.icrc.org)

ILO International Labour Organization (https://www.ilo.org)

WA Wassenaar Arrangement (https://www.wassenaar.org)

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU African Union (https://au.int)

ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States (https://www.ecowas.int)

ICGLR International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (https://www.icglr.org)

LAS League of Arab States (http://www.leagueofarabstates.net)

SADC Southern Africa Development Community (https://www.sadc.int)

GLRHA Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa Conference on the Proliferation of Small Arms

        1. Americas

OAS Organization of American States (https://www.oas.org)

AC Andean Community (http://www.comunidadandina.org)

SICA Central American Integration System (https://www.sica.int)

CAR First Central American Forum on the Proliferation of Light Weapons

        1. Asia-Pacific

APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (https://www.apec.org)

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE Council of Europe (https://www.coe.int)

EU European Union (https://eur-lex.europa.eu)

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (https://www.osce.org)

Titles of legal instruments

The titles of the legal instruments are drawn from the official document libraries of the organizations or forums concerned. The formulation of the title in these libraries determines whether the name of the organization (for example, “United Nations”) is included in the title below.

In English, Amnesty International capitalizes the titles of legal instruments, like other documents, in title case, regardless of the capitalization in the document libraries. In any case, capitalization varies significantly even in documents produced by the organizations or forums generating the instruments.

See “8. Capital letters in English” for full details and more examples.

The list clarifies the formal title of each instrument, the abbreviated form of the title (where one exists), the alternative name of the instrument (where one exists) and the body that monitors its implementation (where one exists). These are signposted as follows:

Abbreviation The commonly used abbreviation of the name of an instrument

Also known as The alternative name of an instrument

Monitoring body The body monitoring the implementation of a treaty

The list includes both treaties and standards. Treaties (also called charters, conventions, covenants and protocols) are legally binding on states that have ratified them. Standards (such as codes, declarations, guidelines, norms, rules, principles and safeguards) are not legally binding, but maximum compliance is expected from states. Treaties come before standards in each section below. Treaties and standards are distinguished as follows:

u A treaty

◌ A standard

Human rights in general

        1. Global

UN u Charter of the United Nations

Abbreviation: UN Charter

UN u International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Monitoring body: Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)

UN u International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Monitoring body: Human Rights Committee (HRC)

UN u First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

UN ◌ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

UN ◌ United Nations Millennium Declaration

UN2929World Conference on Human Rights. 1993. ◌ Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Abbreviation: African Charter

Monitoring body: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)

AU u Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

AU u Constitutive Act of the African Union

LAS u Arab Charter on Human Rights

        1. Americas

OAS u American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR)

Also known as: Pact of San José, Costa Rica

Monitoring body: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

OAS u American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man

OAS u Charter of the Organization of American States

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Abbreviation: European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

CoE u European Social Charter

CoE u Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter Providing for a System of Collective Complaints

CoE u Protocol Amending the European Social Charter

EU u Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Abbreviation: EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Administration of justice, law enforcement

        1. Global

UN ◌ Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary

UN ◌ Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors

UN ◌ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers

UN ◌ Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials

UN ◌ Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials

UN ◌ Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment

UN ◌ Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners

UN ◌ United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

Also known as: Nelson Mandela Rules

UN ◌ United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures

Also known as: Tokyo Rules

UN ◌ United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders

Also known as: Bangkok Rules

UN ◌ United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency

Also known as: Riyadh Guidelines

UN ◌ United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty

UN ◌ United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice

Also known as: Beijing Rules

UN ◌ Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU ◌ Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa

Also known as: Luanda Guidelines

AU ◌ Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa

AU ◌ Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa

AU ◌ Principles on the Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa

Business, corporations, institutions

        1. Global

UN ◌ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework

Abbreviation: Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

UN ◌ Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions

Also known as: Paris Principles

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention against Corruption

OAS ◌ Inter-American Democratic Charter

Children

        1. Global

UN u Convention on the Rights of the Child(CRC)

Monitoring body: Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure

UN u Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

UN u Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

ILO u Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182)

UN ◌ Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups

Also known as: Paris Principles

UN ◌ Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Monitoring body: African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC)

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on International Traffic of Minors

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights

Consular relations

        1. Global

UN u Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Crimes under international law

        1. Global

UN u Convention on the Non-applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity

UN u Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

UN u International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid

UN u International Criminal Court, Elements of Crimes

UN u International Criminal Court, Rules of Procedure and Evidence

UN u Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

ICGLR ◌ Protocol for the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitation to Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes

Death penalty

        1. Global

UN u Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty

UN ◌ Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty

        1. Americas

OAS u Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u Protocol 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty

CoE u Protocol 13 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty in all Circumstances

Disabilities

        1. Global

UN u Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Monitoring body: Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UN ◌ Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

UN ◌ Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities

Discrimination, racism, minorities, Indigenous Peoples

        1. Global

UN u International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

Monitoring body: Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

UN u Convention against Discrimination in Education

UN ◌ Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief

UN ◌ Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice

UN3030World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, 31 August-7 September 2001. ◌ Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Abbreviation: Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

UN ◌ Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

UN ◌ Rabat Plan of Action on the Prohibition of Advocacy of National, Racial or Religious Hatred that Constitutes Incitement to Discrimination, Hostility or Violence

UN ◌ United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

ILO u Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention 169)3131This convention replaces ILO Convention 107 on Indigenous and Tribal Populations, which the ILO now considers to be outdated due to its assimilationist approach. However, for those countries which are parties to ILO Convention 107 and not ILO Convention 169 (for example Bangladesh), the ILO continues to monitor it, interpreting it in the light of more recent developments in international human rights law.

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

CoE u Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

CoE u Protocol 12 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms3232This protocol concerns the general prohibition of discrimination.

Economic, social and cultural rights, development, environment

        1. Global

UN u International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Monitoring body: Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)

UN u Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

UN u United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UN u Paris Agreement (under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

UN ◌ United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development

UN ◌ Declaration on Social Progress and Development

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU ◌ Principles and Guidelines on the Interpretation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

        1. Americas

OAS u Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Also known as: Protocol of San Salvador

UN u Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean

Also known as: Escazú Agreement

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Social Charter

Monitoring body: European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR)

CoE u Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter Providing for a System of Collective Complaints

Employment, forced labour

        1. Global

International Labour Organization conventions, including:

ILO u Forced Labour Convention (ILO Convention 29)

ILO u Labour Inspection Convention (ILO Convention 81)

ILO u Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention (ILO Convention 87)

ILO u Migration for Employment Convention (Revised) (ILO Convention 97)

ILO u Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining (ILO Convention 98)

ILO u Equal Remuneration Convention (ILO Convention 100)

ILO u Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (ILO Convention 105)

ILO u Indigenous and Tribal Populations (ILO Convention 107)

ILO u Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (ILO Convention 111)

ILO u Employment Policy Convention (ILO Convention 122)

ILO u Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention (ILO Convention 129)

ILO u Minimum Age Convention (ILO Convention 138)

ILO u Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention (ILO Convention 143)

ILO u Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention 169)

ILO u Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182)

ILO u Domestic Workers Convention (ILO Convention 189)

ILO u Violence and Harassment Convention (ILO Convention 190)

ILO ◌ ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

Extradition

        1. Global

UN u Model Treaty on Extradition

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on Extradition

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention on Extradition

Human rights defenders

        1. Global

UN ◌ Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Abbreviation: Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

International humanitarian law

        1. Global

ICRC u Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field

Also known as: First Geneva Convention

ICRC u Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea

Also known as: Second Geneva Convention

ICRC u Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

Also known as: Third Geneva Convention

ICRC u Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War

Also known as: Fourth Geneva Convention

ICRC u Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts

Also known as: Protocol I

ICRC u Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts

Also known as: Protocol II

ICRC u Hague Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annexed Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land

Abbreviation: Hague Convention II

ICRC u Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annexed Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land

Abbreviation: Hague Convention IV

Older persons

        1. Global

UN ◌ United Nations Principles for Older Persons

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa

Abbreviation: African Protocol on Older Persons

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons

Refugees, migrants, displacement, nationality, statelessness

        1. Global

UN u Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Also known as: UN Refugee Convention

UN u Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

UN u International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

Abbreviation: Migrant Workers Convention

Monitoring body: Committee on Migrant Workers

UN u Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime

UN u Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

UN u Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

UN ◌ Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who Are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live

UN ◌ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

ILO u Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention (ILO Convention 143)

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u OAU3333The Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor. Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa

AU u African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa

Also known as: Kampala Convention

ICGLR ◌ Protocol on the Property Rights of Returning Persons

ICGLR ◌ Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers

CoE u European Convention on Nationality

Remedy, reparation and impunity

        1. Global

UN ◌ Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law

UN ◌ Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power

UN ◌ Updated Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity

Terrorism

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU ◌ Principles and Guidelines on Human and Peoples’ Rights While Countering Terrorism in Africa

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention against Terrorism

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

CoE u Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

CoE ◌ Guidelines on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism

Torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions

        1. Global

UN u Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Abbreviation: Convention against Torture (CAT)

Monitoring body: Committee against Torture (CAT)

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT)

Abbreviation: Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

UN u International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED)

Monitoring body: Committee on Enforced Disappearances

UN ◌ Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

UN ◌ Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

UN ◌ Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

UN ◌ Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

UN ◌ Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU ◌ Guidelines and Measures for the Prohibition and the Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Africa

Also known as: Robben Island Guidelines

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons

OAS u Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Trafficking in human beings, slavery

        1. Global

UN u United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Also known as: Palermo Convention

UN u Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Also known as: Smuggling Protocol

UN u Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Also known as: Trafficking Protocol

UN u Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

UN u Slavery Convention

UN u Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery

UN3434Specifically the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. ◌ Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on International Traffic in Minors

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

Weapons, military

        1. Global

UN u Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

UN u Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects

UN u Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

UN u Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition

Also known as: Firearms Protocol

UN u Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

UN ◌ International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons

UN ◌ Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

WA ◌ Best Practice Guidelines for Exports of Small Arms and Light Weapons

WA ◌ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

ECOWAS u ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials

SADC u Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in the Southern African Development Community Region

AU ◌ Declaration on an African Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons

GLRHA ◌ Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Weapons, Munitions, Explosives and Related Materials

OAS u Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisitions

OAS ◌ Model Regulations for the Control of Brokers of Firearms, Their Parts, Components and Ammunition

AC ◌ Andean Plan to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

CA ◌ Antigua Declaration on the Proliferation of Light Weapons in the Central American Region

        1. Europe and Central Asia

EU ◌ European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports

EU ◌ Council Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering

OSCE ◌ Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons

OSCE ◌ Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers

OSCE ◌ Principles on the Control of Brokering in Small Arms and Light Weapons

Women

        1. Global

UN u Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Monitoring body: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

UN u Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

UN u Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

UN u Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

UN3535Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995. ◌ Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

UN3636Twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, 2000. ◌ Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

Also known as: Beijing +5 outcome document

UN ◌ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women

UN ◌ Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

        1. Africa / Middle East and North Africa

AU u Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

Also known as: Maputo Protocol

ICGLR ◌ Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children

        1. Americas

OAS u Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women

Also known as: Convention of Belém do Pará

        1. Europe and Central Asia

CoE u Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence

Also known as: Istanbul Convention

 PART B  HOUSE STYLE FOR ENGLISH ONLY

House style essentials for English

6.1 Acronyms and initials 86

6.1.1 Initials for people’s names 86

6.1.2 Acronyms and initialisms for entities’ names 86

6.1.3 Other acronyms and initialisms 87

6.2 Amnesty International 87

6.2.1 General use of ‘Amnesty International’ 87

6.2.2 National entities of Amnesty International 88

6.3 Apostrophes 88

6.3.1 Plurals and apostrophes 88

6.3.2 Possessive and apostrophes 88

6.3.3 Time periods with apostrophes 88

6.3.4 Style of apostrophes 89

6.4 Brackets 89

6.4.1 Round brackets 89

6.4.2 Square brackets 89

6.5 Bullet points 90

6.5.1 Introducing lists of bullet points 90

6.5.2 Consistency in punctuation for bullet points 90

6.5.3 List of terms in bullet points 90

6.5.4 List of phrases in bullet points 90

6.5.5 List of complete sentences in bullet points 90

6.6 Capital letters 91

6.6.1 General use of capital letters 91

6.6.2 People’s titles and capital letters 91

6.6.3 Entities’ names and capital letters 92

6.6.4 Documents’ names and capital letters 92

6.6.5 Capitalization style 92

6.7 Collective nouns 92

6.8 Commas 93

6.8.1 Final commas at end of lists 93

6.8.2 Marking equivalents using commas 93

6.9 Currency 94

6.9.1 Use of numerals in currency 94

6.9.2 Formats for currency 94

6.9.3 Equivalent amounts in currency 95

6.9.4 Exchange rates for currency 95

6.10 Dashes 95

6.11 Dates and seasons 95

6.11.1 Format for dates 95

6.11.2 Ranges of dates 96

6.11.3 Seasons 96

6.12 Gender in pronouns and vocabulary 96

6.12.1 Pronouns and gender inclusivity 96

6.12.2 Singular ‘they’ and non-binary gender 97

6.12.3 Vocabulary and gender 97

6.12.4 Gender needed for translation 98

6.13 Hyphens 98

6.13.1 Words and phrases with hyphens in house style dictionary 98

6.13.2 Other compound adjectives using hyphens 98

6.13.3 Suspended hyphens 99

6.13.4 Numerical ranges with hyphens 99

6.14 Italics 99

6.14.1 Words from other languages in italics 99

6.14.2 Titles of publications in italics 100

6.14.3 Italics within italics 100

6.15 Latin expressions 100

6.16 Measurements 101

6.16.1 Metric measurements 101

6.16.2 Common units of measurement 102

6.16.3 Less common units of measurement 102

6.17 Numbers and numerals 102

6.17.1 Use of numerals for numbers 102

6.17.2 Use of words for numbers 103

6.17.3 Thousands in numbers 104

6.17.4 Percentages and numerals 104

6.17.5 Decimal fractions in numerals 104

6.18 Omitted words 104

6.19 Pronouns 104

6.20 Quotation marks 105

6.20.1 Quotations in quotation marks 105

6.20.2 Informal terms, neologisms, jargon in quotation marks 105

6.20.3 Arguably inaccurate use of terms in quotation marks 105

6.20.4 Titles of publications in quotation marks 105

6.20.5 Punctuation in quotation marks 106

6.20.6 Double or single quotation marks 106

6.20.7 Style for quotation marks 106

6.21 Quotations 106

6.21.1 Introducing quotations 106

6.21.2 Punctuation for quotations 106

6.21.3 Square brackets in quotations 107

6.21.4 Quotations placed in separate paragraphs 107

6.22 Relative pronouns 107

6.22.1 ‘That’ and ‘which’ 107

6.22.2 ‘Who’ 107

6.22.3 ‘Whom’ 107

6.23 Spelling 108

6.24 Time 108

6.25 Vocabulary 109

6.25.1 House style dictionary 109

6.25.2 International choices 109

6.25.3 Consistency 109

6.26 ‘Which’, ‘that’, ‘who’ or ‘whom’ 109

This chapter provides the essentials of Amnesty International’s house style as applicable to the use of English only. It contains rules and guidance on spelling, including the use of capital letters and italics; punctuation, such as the use of apostrophes, brackets, bullet points, commas, dashes, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks; and certain other aspects of grammar, such as the use of collective nouns, numerals, pronouns, relative pronouns, quotations and units of measurement. These rules and guidance naturally differ from one language to another and are therefore not universal. The chapter is designed to answer key questions and signpost further details found in subsequent chapters

.

Acronyms and initials

Initials for people’s names

Use initials for people’s names only when they are commonly referred to in this way. Place a full stop and a space after each initial.

W. E. B. Du Bois

Acronyms and initialisms for entities’ names

For the names of some entities, it is possible to use acronyms, abbreviations formed from the first letters of a name and pronounced as a single word (for example, “NATO”), or initialisms, abbreviations formed from the first letters of a name with each letter pronounced separately (for example, “BBC”), without giving the name in full.

BBCCNNEUNATOUKUNUSA

You may use acronyms or initialisms to replace the names of other entities that are repeated frequently in the same document. However, on first mention, give the name in full, followed by the acronym or initialism in brackets.

International Labour Organization (ILO)International Monetary Fund (IMF)

If an entity’s name appears only once, there is no need to give its acronym or initialism in brackets, unless the abbreviation is better known than the full name.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

In general, use acronyms without the definite article (“the”).

NATO announced…

the NATO announced…

UNICEF announced…

the UNICEF announced…

In general, use initialisms with the definite article (“the”) when the full name is used with a definite article and without the definite article (“the”) when the full name is used without a definite article.

the BBC broadcast a programme [the British Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a programme]the CIA led an investigation [the Central Intelligence Agency led an investigation]the OHCHR issued a report [the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights…]the WHO is responsible for international public health [the World Health Organization…]

BUT

AFP is an international news agency [Agence France-Presse is an international news agency]

Other acronyms and initialisms

Use acronyms or initialisms for other terms without giving the name in full if they appear as entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).

AIDSCovid-19DNAHIVNGOSARS

Other commonly used acronyms or initialisms do not appear in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). You may still use these to replace the names of terms that are repeated frequently in the same document. However, on first mention, give the name in full, followed by the acronym or initialism in brackets.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

See also “2.1 Abbreviations”.

Amnesty International

General use of ‘Amnesty International’

In general, use “Amnesty International” in full.

In less formal contexts, use “Amnesty International” in full on first reference and “Amnesty” on subsequent mentions.

Never use “AI”.

Amnesty International

AI

National entities of Amnesty International

Use “Amnesty International [country name]” for the names of Amnesty International national entities (sections, structures and national offices).

Amnesty International Tunisia

the Tunisian Section

Amnesty International Indonesia

the Indonesian National Office

Apostrophes

Plurals and apostrophes

Do NOT use an apostrophe before an “s” to indicate a plural.

the 1930s

the 1930’s

NGOs

NGO’s

Possessive and apostrophes

Use an apostrophe to indicate the possessive. Add an “s” after the apostrophe in singular words, including those ending in “s”, “x” or “z”.3737Contrary to previous guidance, add the apostrophe for words ending in “s”, “x” or “z”.

Congress’s responseCox’s car

Time periods with apostrophes

Use an apostrophe in phrases in which a time period (for example, “12 years”) qualifies a noun (for example, “imprisonment”).

12 years’ imprisonment two days’ timesix weeks’ holiday

Do NOT use an apostrophe in phrases in which a time period qualifies an adjective (for example, “old” or “pregnant”).

nine months pregnant three weeks old

Style of apostrophes

Apostrophes should be typographic (curved) (’) not straight (‘).

Brackets

Round brackets

Round brackets (or parentheses) are used to enclose supplementary information, variants, digressions and explanations. They are also used to give or expand abbreviations.

If the text within brackets is a complete sentence, begin it with a capital letter and end it in a full stop.

Executions increased by 12% in 2020. (In 2019, they had increased by 7%.)

Where the text within brackets is not a full sentence, place any punctuation following it outside the closing bracket.

Executions increased by 12% in 2020 (compared with 7% in 2019).

Also use pairs of round brackets around the subdivisions of articles (or similar divisions) of legal instruments.

Article 5(2)(ii)Rule 92(3)(b)

Square brackets

Use square brackets inside a quotation to indicate text that was not in the original quotation and has been added by Amnesty International, such as a comment, clarification or translation.

“We [mainly] use square brackets to add text within a quote to clarify the meaning”

See also “6.21.3 Square brackets in quotations”.

In the rare event that you need to include parentheses within parentheses, use square brackets around the inner parenthetical comment.

All five political parties that participated gained votes. (Podemos [We Can] boycotted the elections.)

Bullet points

Introducing lists of bullet points

Introduce a list of bullet points with a colon.

Consistency in punctuation for bullet points

Use consistent grammatical forms and punctuation in bullet points.

Consistently begin each bullet point with either a noun or a verb (using the same tense and form within the list). Consistently end each bullet point with either no punctuation, a semicolon (except for the last one) or a full stop.

Amnesty International made the following calls on the UN Security Council:

  • to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court;
  • to impose a comprehensive arms embargo and establish a mechanism to monitor and enforce it;
  • to impose targeted financial sanctions against senior officials responsible for serious violations and crimes.

Amnesty International made the following calls on the UN Security Council:

  • to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.
  • imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo and establishment of a mechanism to monitor and enforce it
  • it should impose targeted financial sanctions against senior officials responsible for serious violations and crimes;

List of terms in bullet points

If the bullet points separate out a list of terms, begin each one with a lower-case letter and do NOT use punctuation at the end.

The committee planned to discuss:

  • political relations
  • military expenditure
  • economic forecasts

List of phrases in bullet points

If the bullet points separate out a list of phrases, begin each one with a lower-case letter and end them with a semicolon, except for the last one, which should end with a full stop.

Amnesty International calls on the UN Security Council to:

  • refer the situation to the International Criminal Court;
  • impose a comprehensive arms embargo and establish a mechanism to monitor and enforce it;
  • impose targeted financial sanctions against senior officials responsible for serious violations and crimes.

List of complete sentences in bullet points

If the bullet points separate out a list of items that each contain one or more complete sentences, begin each one with a capital letter and end them with a full stop.

Amnesty International calls on the armed groups to undertake the following actions:

  • Immediately end all international humanitarian law violations and human rights abuses. Adhere strictly to the provisions of international humanitarian law.
  • End abductions of civilians and immediately release all civilians being detained. Inform families of anyone, civilian or combatant, who continues to be detained by the armed group and allow detainees to correspond with their families.
  • End threats of violence and acts of intimidation against civilians.

Capital letters

See “8. Capital letters in English” for full details and more examples.

General use of capital letters

Use capital letters sparingly and keep capitalization consistent within a document.

Do NOT capitalize terms unnecessarily.

international human rights law

International Human Rights Law

Do NOT capitalize expressions just because their abbreviation is capitalized.

non-governmental organization (NGO)

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

human rights defenders (HRDs)

Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)

Use sentence case (capitalizing only the first word), as well as quotation marks, for titles of subdivisions of publications, such as chapters of a book or a report, and around the titles of subdivisions of a broadcast or production, such as an episode of a TV, radio or podcast series regardless of the capitalization style in the source.

See “6.20.4 Titles of publications in quotation marks” for more details.

People’s titles and capital letters

For people, use capital letters for common formal titles when written immediately before a name and without an intervening comma and for unique formal titles. Otherwise, use initial lower-case letters, particularly when the phrase is a generic description.

President Vladimir Putin

BUT

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president,the Russian president, Vladimir Putin,

Entities’ names and capital letters

For entities (such as governments, parliaments, official agencies, courts, judicial bodies, detention centres, medical and educational institutions), use initial capital letters for their officialtitles. Use initial lower-case letters for abbreviations or paraphrased references to their titles.

the National Diet of Japan

BUT

Japan’s parliament

Documents’ names and capital letters

For documents (such as laws and treaties), use initial capital letters for the official full and abbreviated titles of major publications such as books, reports and briefings and major broadcasts or productions such as television and radio programmes, podcast series, films and plays, as well as court cases. Use lower-case letters for unofficial abbreviations or paraphrased references to their titles.

Saudi Arabia’s Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and Its Financing

BUT

Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism lawthe UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment the UN Convention against Torture [the UN’s official abbreviation]

BUT

the UN torture convention

Capitalization style

When capitalizing the names of people, places, entities and documents, use title case. Capitalize the first letter of significant words (nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). Maintain in lower case words like “the”, “a”, “and”, “or”, “in”, “on”, “of”, “for”, “against”.3838Tip: Use a title capitalization tool (for example, https://titlecaseconverter.com) and select Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for the title case (also known as headline style).

Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Law Of The People’s Republic Of China On Safeguarding National Security In The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Collective nouns

Follow guidance in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) to decide whether to use singular of plural verbs for collective nouns (such as “data”, “family”, “media”, “team”).

In some cases, the choice between singular and plural verb forms will depend on whether you are referring to the group as a single unit or the group as individuals.

Her family is based in Nairobi [referring to the family as a unit]All her family are coming to visit [referring to the family as individuals]

Commas

Final commas at end of lists

In general, do NOT use a final comma before “and” in lists.

red, white and blue

red, white, and blue

Only use a final comma when it is required for the sake of clarity, for example, where “and” or “or” appears multiple times.

the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education, and Labour and Social Affairs

Marking equivalents using commas

Use commas around a word or phrase, such as the name or description of a person or entity, when it is the equivalent of something that immediately precedes it and consequently non-essential to the sentence. Do NOT place a word or phrase between commas when it defines or identifies a preceding word or phrase (and is therefore essential to the sentence).

the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi,

[only one person is currently in the role; “Narendra Modi” is therefore non-essential and could be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence]

BUT

the former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh

[many people have formerly been in the role; “Manmohan Singh” is essential for the meaning of the sentence]

her mother, Rohima Begum, asked…

[she only has one mother; “Rohima Begum” is therefore non-essential and could be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence]

BUT

her cousin Dipa Begum

[she has more than one cousin; “Dipa Begum” is essential for the meaning of the sentence]

See “6.22 Relative pronouns” for details on commas around relative clauses.

Currency

Use of numerals in currency

Use numerals for currency amounts.

See “6.17 Numbers and numerals” for more details on use of numerals.

Formats for currency

Use any of the following three formats for currencies but consider the option most familiar to the audience and be consistent throughout the document.

1. Name of currency (in lower case)

50 British pounds60 Indian rupees1 US dollar100 euros1,200 Nigerian naira4,000 Russian roubles300 Iraqi dinars

2. Currency code (with a space before the number)

GBP 50INR 60USD 1EUR 100NGN 1,200RUB 4,000IQD 300

3. Currency symbol (without a space before the number)

£50₹60US$1€100₦1,200₽4,000ع د300

Equivalent amounts in currency

Give an equivalent amount in another currency in brackets where helpful for the reader. In general, US dollars (US$) or euros (€), depending on the audience.

NGN 1,200 (USD 4)RUB 4,000 (EUR 65)1,200 Nigerian naira (4 US dollars)₽4,000 (€65)

Exchange rates for currency

Where needed, such as in situations of high currency rate volatility, add a footnote with the exchange rate and source and date of conversion.

[Footnote] Calculation based on an exchange rate of 1 US dollar to 1,1571 Congolese francs on 1 December 2018, XE currency converter.

Dashes

Use dashes (–), with a space on either side, NOT hyphens, as a form of punctuation, such as to indicate a break in the natural syntax of a sentence in speech. Use an en-dash (–), not the longer em-dash (—).3939Tip: To insert an en-dash in Word, press Ctrl and minus (-) on the numeric keypad of the keyboard. Or insert it from the Insert>Symbol menu.

“She walked without stopping – rain was falling all the time – to the shelter.”

“She walked without stopping – rain was falling all the time – to the shelter.”

See also “6.13 Hyphens”.

Dates and seasons

Format for dates

For dates, use the day-month-year format. For the day, use the numeral only. In general, do NOT include the day of the week.

on 2 June 2011

on the 2nd of June 2011on 02 June 2011on June 2, 2011

Ranges of dates

For date ranges, use a hyphen or “between… and” or “from… to”.

1948-1958between 1948 and 1958from 1948 to 1958

between 1948-1958

20-24 July 2011between 20 and 24 July 2011from 20 to 24 July 2011

between 20 – 24 July 2011

Seasons

Avoid using the names of seasons (for example, in English, “summer” or “winter”) to indicate periods of time as they vary from region to region.

Gender in pronouns and vocabulary

Pronouns and gender inclusivity

The villager had to flee their home because of the armed group’s threats against them.

Use for individuals who identify as neither male nor female.

Jo Pérez placed themself in danger to undertake their mission.

Take care when using “he or she”, “his or her” and so on, since they are cis-binary pronouns and therefore exclude individuals who identify as neither male nor female.

Avoid using pronouns in a gender-biased way when referring to a person or persons whose gender is not known or when referring to people in generic terms (that is when not referring to a specific person or persons). Use a mixture of alternative ways of presenting the information in a gender-inclusive way, depending on the possibilities each text or sentence offers.

Use the plural.

Lawyers need their wits about them.

A lawyer needs his wits about him.

Each child received their own food parcel.

Each child received his own food parcel.

If anyone is there, ask them to help.

If anyone is there, ask him to help.

The villager had to flee their home because of the armed group’s threats against them.

The villager had to flee his home because of the armed group’s threats against him.

Omit the pronoun.

The prisoner serves the first six months but is then released on remand.

The prisoner serves the first six months but he is then released on remand.

Use an article in place of a pronoun.

The accused is entitled to contact a lawyer.

The accused is entitled to contact his lawyer.

Replace the pronoun with a noun.

Write to the lawyer, expressing… The lawyer may respond saying…

Write to the lawyer, expressing… He may respond saying…

Replace the pronoun with “one”.

A police officer in this city earns more than he would do in that city.

A police officer in this city earns more than one in that city.

Use a relative pronoun.

A complainant who is not satisfied with the decision can appeal.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the decision, he can appeal.

Take care when using “he or she”, “his or her” and so on, since they are pairings of cis-binary pronouns and therefore exclude individuals who identify as neither male nor female and may be described as non-binary.

Singular ‘they’ and non-binary gender

Use “they”, “them”, “their” and “themself” (rather than “themselves” in this case) as gender-neutral singular pronouns for individuals who identify as neither male nor female and may be described as non-binary.

Jo Pérez placed themself in danger to undertake their mission.

Vocabulary and gender

In general, use gender-inclusive vocabulary.

spokesperson

spokesmanspokeswoman

police officer

policemanpolicewoman

fire fighter

fireman

Gender needed for translation

When preparing outputs for translation, remember to include as comments the gender of individuals and members of groups to help translators of certain languages who need this information for accurate translations.

Hyphens

Words and phrases with hyphens in house style dictionary

Follow the usage of hyphens (-) in the Advanced Oxford Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) for all words and phrases included there.

North-South relationsup-to-date informationthe information is up to date

Other compound adjectives using hyphens

For compound adjectives not included in the Advanced Oxford Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), use hyphens only where necessary.

Do NOT use a hyphen if the meaning is clear and unambiguous without one.

income tax authoritiestrade union activities

Do NOT use hyphens to join adjectives to “well” or adverbs ending in “ly”.

a well maintained house

a well-maintained house

a recognizably criminal offence

a recognizably-criminal offence

Use a hyphen (-) or hyphens if not using them would render the meaning unclear or ambiguous.

five-year terms

five year terms [this could mean “five one-year terms”]

the third-highest-ranking official

the third highest-ranking official [this could mean “the third official to have the highest rank”]

Suspended hyphens

Use a suspended hyphen when part of a compound expression has been omitted. Remember to follow the suspended hyphen with a space.

low- and middle-income countries [meaning low-income and middle-income countries]long- and short-term policies [meaning long-term and short-term policies]

Numerical ranges with hyphens

Also use a hyphen for numerical ranges without spaces, not a dash.

pp. 23-241968-1972

See also “6.10 Dashes”.

Italics

Words from other languages in italics

Use italics for words from other languages that have not been absorbed into English and are either italicized or not included in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). Explain these words on first mention and, in longer documents, include them in a glossary.

diya (sharia term for compensation paid to victim’s family)

Do NOT use italics for words from other languages that have been absorbed into English, as indicated by their inclusion without italics in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).

ad hocen masseen routefatwahijab

Titles of publications in italics

Use italics for the titles of major publications such as books, reports and briefings and major broadcasts or productions such as television and radio programmes, podcast series, films and plays, as well as court cases. Capitalize the titles in title case.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s DictionaryA Spoiler in the Balkans? Russia and the Final Resolution of the Kosovo Conflict, a report by the Carnegie Endowment for Global PeaceCNN’s documentary Troubled Watersthe 1966 film The Battle of AlgiersProsecutor v. Kanyarukiga

See also “6.6 Capital letters” for more details on title case.

Do NOT use italics for the names of newspapers, journals, magazines or other periodicals; news agencies, news portals or other news providers; publishers or broadcasters; websites; television or radio stations; or the original language names of organizations.4040Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use italics for the names of newspapers (or journals or other periodicals) as the distinction between these, news agencies, news portals and broadcasters with online content has become too blurred. Use initial capital letters.

An article in the New York TimesAFPAn Al Jazeera investigationRadio Guangzhou

See “3. References” for more details.

Italics within italics

Avoid long passages in italics, as these do not work well on the web or in PDF documents.

When including a short passage of text in italics, place any words that would otherwise be in italics in non-italic type.

CNN’s documentary Troubled Waters was first broadcast in 2019.

Latin expressions

In general, use English rather than Latin expressions.

for examplefor instancesuch as

e.g.

that isnamely

i.e.

and others

et al.

and so on

etc.

namelyin other words

viz.

in his/her/their absence

in absentia

behind closed doorsin secret

in camera

among other things

inter alia

However, sometimes Latin needs to be used when there is no simple English equivalent, such as “habeas corpus”.

See “9. A-Z of terms” for details of how to use this term.

Measurements

Metric measurements

In general, use metric measurements such as “hectares” (rather than “acres”) and “km” (rather than “miles”).

Common units of measurement

Use digits and abbreviations for everyday units of weight, length, area, volume and temperature. Do NOT add a space between the digit and the abbreviation.

14mm12cm5m10km12g10kg2m x 5m12km220m3-30oC

Less common units of measurement

Use words for less common units.

20 tonnes15 million barrels per day

Numbers and numerals

Use of numerals for numbers

Use numerals for numbers with decimals, times of day, dates, sums of money, percentages, measurements (for example, lengths, weights, temperatures) and millions (and billions and trillions).

2.52pm1 JulyUS$63%700m60kg200oC5 million1.2 billion

BUT

half a million

Also use numerals for references to subdivisions of documents and to editions of publications.

Article 2paras 3-42nd edition

In general, use numerals for numbers “10” and over. Do not apply superscript to suffixes of ordinal numbers.4141Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn off “Replace Ordinals (1st) with superscript”.

12 houses

twelve houses

the 21st century

the 21st centurythe twenty-first century

In general, do NOT use Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv and so on).

Use of words for numbers

Use words for the numbers “one” to “nine” in all other circumstances, including fractions and ages.

two and a half yearstheir two children were 12 and six years old respectivelya majority of two thirds eighth place

Also, exceptionally use words for numbers “10” and over at the start of a sentence, unless they denote a year.

Forty-six girls and two boys…2007 saw an increase in certain…

If spelling out the number would be cumbersome, redraft the sentence.

5,239 people were displaced.Five thousand, two hundred and thirty-nine people were displaced.

A total of 5,239 people were displaced.

Thousands in numbers

For “1,000” and over, add a comma before each cluster of three numerals (to separate thousands), except for data in figures.

1,400 boys

Percentages and numerals

Use “%” not “per cent” without a space between the numeral and the symbol.

20%

20 per cent20 percent

Decimal fractions in numerals

As mentioned above, use numerals for numbers with decimals.

In decimal fractions expressing a number that is less than one, include a zero if necessary before the decimal point.

0.6%

Add a trailing zero after the last digit of numbers with decimals where needed to indicate the level of accuracy. Ensure all numbers in a table or series contain the same number of decimal places.

61.4% of men and 58.0% of women

Omitted words

Use three dots (…), known as an ellipsis, to indicate an omitted word or words. Do NOT add other punctuation such as brackets. Do NOT add a space before the three dots.

The minister’s letter stated: “The prisoner was released… two days ago.”

The minister’s letter stated: “The prisoner was released […] two days ago.”The minister’s letter stated: “The prisoner was released … two days ago.”

Pronouns

See “6.12 Gender in pronouns and vocabulary”.

Quotation marks

Quotations in quotation marks

Use quotation marks around a word, sentence or longer piece of text to indicate that they are exactly what somebody said or wrote.

Informal terms, neologisms, jargon in quotation marks

Use quotation marks to indicate an informal term, neologism or jargon that may be unfamiliar to the audience, but use such terms sparingly to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. There is generally no need to use quotation marks if the meaning is recorded in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).

She let out a “microcough”.

Arguably inaccurate use of terms in quotation marks

You may also use quotation marks to indicate an arguably inaccurate use of a term (in the sense of “so-called”).

The authorities organized “voluntary” transfers of population.The police extracted the “confession” under torture.“honour killings”

Titles of publications in quotation marks

Use quotation marks for the titles of shorter publications such as articles in newspapers, press releases, public statements and Urgent Actions and the titles of shorter broadcasts or productions such as videos and songs.

Amnesty International’s press release “Cuba: Prisoner releases must lead to new human rights environment”An article in the New York Times entitled “Venezuela’s Maduro claims control of National Assembly, tightening grip on power”

Also use quotation marks around the titles of subdivisions of publications, such as chapters of a book or a report, and around the titles of subdivisions of a broadcast or production, such as an episode of a TV, radio or podcast series.

Use sentence case (capitalizing only the first word) for these sources regardless of the capitalization style in the source.

See “3. References” for more details.

Punctuation in quotation marks

If a clause or sentence finishes with a word or phrase in quotation marks, place the comma or full stop after the closing quotation marks.

He was convicted on the basis of a “confession”.He was convicted on the basis of a “confession”, which the judge read out in court.

Double or single quotation marks

In general, use double quotation marks (“…”).

Use single quotation marks (‘…’) for quotations within quotations.

She described the abuse she received at her employer’s home: “His daughter shouted at me: ‘You’re an idiot.’”

Use double quotation marks (“…”) for quotations within quotations within quotations.

The UN Human Rights Committee reported a migrant worker’s allegation of abuse. It wrote: ‘She described the abuse she received at her employer’s home: ‘His daughter shouted at me: “You’re an idiot.”’”

Use single quotation marks (‘…’) within the titles of documents such as reports and press releases and within chapter and section headings.

Style for quotation marks

Quotation marksshould be typographic (curved or smart) (“…”) not straight (“).4242Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn on “Replace Straight quotes with smart quotes”.

Quotations

Introducing quotations

In general, introduce quotations with a colon and begin them with a capital letter.

The minister’s letter stated: “The prisoner was released on 5 March.”She recounted the evening’s events: “First, I heard a knock at the door…”She said: “My sister was released on Tuesday.”

Punctuation for quotations

If a sentence finishes with a quotation which is a sentence in itself, place the full stop before the closing quotation marks.

He told Amnesty International: “I was handcuffed and dragged into a car.”

Square brackets in quotations

Use square brackets around text that was not in the original quotation and has been added by Amnesty International, such as a comment, clarification or translation.

“She returned to [the town of] Badou.”“They made me keep the blindfold [over my eyes] the whole time.”“He [the police officer] accused me of…”“The court imposed the punishment of qesas [retribution in kind].”

Also use square brackets to indicate the substitution of an initial capital letter for a lower-case letter, or the other way round, to maintain the flow of text.

the Convention against Torture stipulates that “[n]o State Party shall expel, return…”

[the original text is “No State Party shall expel, return…”]

Quotations placed in separate paragraphs

In longer-form documents, such as reports, place quotations of three lines or more in a separate paragraph and use a distinct quote style. Introduce these quotations with a colon.

Relative pronouns

‘That’ and ‘which’

In general, use “that” without a comma in relative clauses that define or identify a preceding word (and are therefore essential to the sentence). Use “which”, preceded by a comma, to add non-essential information. Do NOT use either with people.

The convoy that was attacked on 2 June was carrying two officers.

[“that was attacked on 2 June” identifies the convoy]

The presidential convoy, which left the palace at 2pm, was carrying two officers.

[“presidential” identifies the convoy; “which left the palace at 2pm” is additional information]

The court sentenced the commander that gave the order.

‘Who’

Use “who” without a comma to define a preceding word when referring to people. Use “who”, preceded by a comma, to add non-essential information.

The court acquitted the battalion commander who gave the order.

[“who gave the order” identifies the commander]

The court acquitted the battalion commander, who was surrounded by his supporters.

[the battalion commander has already been identified earlier in the text; “who was surrounded by his supporters” is additional information]

‘Whom’

Use “whom” instead of “who” when it is the object of a verb or preposition (when it substitutes “her”, “him” or “them” not “he”, “she” or “they”).

The two writers whom the minister denounced went into hiding.

[the minister denounced “them”]

BUT

The two writers who the minister said were a threat to national security went into hiding

[the minister said “they” were a threat]

Spelling

Spell words as per the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).

If an entry provides more than one spelling, use the first one, and avoid spellings that are marked as only or chiefly North American (or US) usage.4343Contrary to previous guidance, use the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, not the Chambers 21st Dictionary. Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”. There are two exceptions: use “antisemitic” and “antisemitism” (the second spelling) rather than “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Semitism” (the first spelling).

To facilitate conformity with this spelling, download the AmnestySpell spellcheck app, set the “proofing language” to English (United Kingdom) and conduct a spellcheck. However, do NOT rely exclusively on a spellcheck. It will not detect misspellings of proper names or improper use of homophones (such as “their” and “there”). It will let you write as two words compound words you should have written as one word (for example, “health care”).

Above all, maintain consistency of spelling in the same document.

See “7. Spelling in English” for more details.

Time

Use either the 12-hour clock or the 24-hour clock to express time, but be consistent within the same document.

12-hour clock

Do NOT add a character space before “am” or “pm”. Use a full stop between the hour and minutes.

11am

  • 11.00 am
  • 11 a.m.

3.15pm

24-hour clock

Use a colon between the hour and minutes. Do NOT add “am” or “pm”.

11:0015:15

Vocabulary

House style dictionary

Use words only if they appear in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), unless they are essential technical terms, in which case provide a suitable explanation.

International choices

Where possible, use terms that are marked neither as “British English” nor as “North American English” in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). For example, consider using “refuse” as opposed to “rubbish” (marked as “especially British English”) or “garbage” (marked as “especially North American English”).

Consistency

Above all, ensure consistency of vocabulary variety in the same document. Check the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com)for usage. For example, if the document generally uses British English vocabulary, avoid using terms marked as “North American English”.

‘Which’, ‘that’, ‘who’ or ‘whom’

See “6.22 Relative pronouns”.

Spelling in English

7.1 House style spelling 111

7.1.1 Words in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 111

7.1.2 Words NOT in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 117

7.2 Rationale for spelling system 119

7.2.1 Consistency 119

7.2.2 Spelling standard 119

7.2.3 House style dictionary 120

This chapter provides rules and guidance on Amnesty International’s preferred spelling of words in English.

House style spelling

To determine the house style spelling of any English word, firstly check if the word appears in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com).4444Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.

To facilitate conformity with this spelling, download the AmnestySpell spellcheck app, set the “proofing language” to English (United Kingdom) and conduct a spellcheck. However, do NOT rely exclusively on a spellcheck. It will not detect misspellings of proper names or improper use of homophones (such as “their” and “there”). It will let you write as two words compound words you should have written as one word (for example, “health care”).

Therefore, bookmark a link to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) on your browser and check the spellings of words even if you are familiar with them, particularly if they may or may not include hyphens or could be spelt as one or two words.

Words in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

If the word appears in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), follow the instructions below. In all cases, follow use (or absence) of hyphens, capital letters and italics and whether the entry is written as one word or two.

        1. One entry, one spelling

If there is one entry only and it provides only one spelling, use that one.

          1. Examples

air strike

air strike

airstrike

asylum seeker

asylum seeker

asylum-seeker

audiovisual

audiovisual

audio-visual

cooperate

cooperate

co-operate

counterterrorism

counterterrorism

counter-terrorism

cross-check

cross-check

crosscheck

extraterritorial

extraterritorial

extra-territorial

follow-up adjective

follow-up call

follow up call

the front line noun

the front line

the frontline

landmine

landmine

land mine

non-refoulement

non-refoulement

non-refoulement

north-western

north-western

northwestern

protester

protester

protestor

well-being

well-being

wellbeing

        1. One entry, multiple spellings

If there is one entry only and it provides multiple spellings, use the first one. Do NOT use the alternative spelling given after signposts like “also” or “British English also” or “US English also”.

There are two exceptions: use “antisemitic” and “antisemitism” (the second spelling) rather than “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Semitism” (the first spelling). Note also that “judgement” is spelled “judgement” when it means “the ability to make sensible decisions after carefully considering the best thing to do” or “an opinion that you form about something after thinking about it carefully; the act of making this opinion known to others”. However, it is spelled “judgment” when it means “the decision of a court or a judge”.

See “9. A-Z of terms” for explanation.

          1. Examples

adviser

(also advisor)

adviser

advisor

analyse

(British English)

(North American English analyze)

analyse

analyze

any more

(British English)

(also anymore North American English, British English)

any more

anymore

burka

(also burkha, burqa)

burka

burkaburkhaburqa

Covid-194545Contrary to previous guidance, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.

Covid-19

COVID-19

dialogue

(US English also dialog)

dialogue

dialog

email

(also e-mail)

email

e-mail

emphasize

(British English also emphasise)

emphasize

emphasise

encyclopedia

(British English also -paedia)

encyclopedia

encyclopaedia

healthcare

(also health care)

healthcare

health care

homogeneous

(also homogenous)

homogeneous

homogenous

inflection

(also inflexion especially in British English)

inflection

inflexion

install

(also British English, less frequent instal)

install

instal

jail

(also British English, old-fashioned gaol)

jail

gaol

non-governmental

(also nongovernmental especially in North American English)

non-governmental

nongovernmental

organizational

(British English also organisational)

organizational

organisational

Qur’an

(also Koran)

Qur’an

Koran

sharia

(also shariah)

sharia

shariahShari’aSharia

Shia

(also Shi’a)

Shia

Shi’aShiah

        1. Two entries, one British spelling

If there is more than one entry for the same word (the two entries will be cross-referenced) and only one indicates British English usage, use that one. For example:

          1. Examples

1. aeon

(British English)

(North American English or specialist eon)

2. eon

(North American English or specialist)

(British English usually aeon)

aeon

eon

1. center

(US English)

2. centre

(British English centre)

centre

center

1. defence

(US English defense)

2. defense

(US English)

(British English defence)

defence

defense

1. likable

(especially North American English)

(also likeable especially in British English)

2. likeable

(especially British English)

(also likable especially in North American English)

likeable

likable

1. program

In (British English) the spelling programme is used, except in sense 1

2. programme

(British English)

(North American English program)

programme

program

        1. Two entries, two British spellings

If there is more than one entry for the same word (the two entries will be cross-referenced), both indicate British English usage, but only one indicates both British and North American usage, use that one. For example:

          1. Examples

1. fetus

(British English also foetus)

2. foetus

(British English)

(also fetus British and North American English)

fetus

foetus

1. homeopath

(British English also homoeo-)

2. homoeopath

(British English)

(also homeopath British and North American English)

homeopath

homoeopath

        1. Plurals

For plurals, add -s or -es unless otherwise indicated. If the entry provides more than one plural, use the first one.

          1. Examples

curriculum

(plural curricula, curriculums)

curricula

curriculums

forum

forums

fora

memorandum

(plural memoranda)

memoranda

memorandums

phenomenon

(plural phenomena)

phenomena

phenomenons

Words NOT in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

If the word does NOT appear in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), follow the instructions below. In all cases, follow use (or absence) of hyphens, capital letters and italics.

        1. Compound words

If it is a compound word composed of two words and both appear in separate entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, write it as two separate words without a hyphen, spelling each of the component words as per their spelling in the dictionary.

          1. Examples

1. case

2. file

case file

casefile

1. grave

2. site

grave site

gravesite

1. skill

2. share

skill share

skillshare

1. work

2. plan

  • work plan
  • workplan
        1. Words with prefixes

If the word is composed of a prefix (for example, “post-”) and a word, and both appear in separate entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), write it as one word with a hyphen between the prefix and the main word.

          1. Examples

1. inter-

2. ministerial

inter-ministerial

interministerial

1. pre-

2. arraignment

pre-arraignment

prearraignment

1. psycho-

2. social

psycho-social

psychosocial

1. re-

2. arrest

re-arrest

rearrest

1. sub-

2. region

sub-region

subregion

1. under-

2. report

under-report

underreport

        1. Other English words

If the word is an English word but NOT in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) at all, with or without a prefix, it is likely to be a technical word. Spell these words using an authoritative source, explain them on first mention and, in longer documents, include them in a glossary.

          1. Examples

habilitationintra-partumnon-derogable

        1. Non-English words

If the word is a non-English word that is NOT in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), use italics. Spell these words using an authoritative source, explain them on first mention and, in longer documents, include them in a glossary.

          1. Example

diya (sharia term for compensation paid to victim’s family)

Rationale for spelling system

Consistency

Many English words have multiple possible spellings, so any institution that wishes to issue written outputs in a professional way from an editorial perspective needs to adopt a house style and consistently follow one spelling standard. Consistent spelling indicates that the institution takes care over its written work and is more likely to be meticulous in other areas, such as its research. Consistency also contributes to reinforcing the perception of Amnesty International as a single organization speaking with one voice.

Spelling standard

        1. In brief

Amnesty International uses as its house style a spelling standard known as Oxford spelling. It is arguably the most international spelling standard in English. The UN and its agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and some other international organizations such as Oxfam International also use it. It is also commonly used in academic, formal and technical writing for an international readership.

        1. Further explanation

There are two main variations of English spelling. One is British spelling, used in the UK as well as many other countries where English is an official or a dominant language, such as Australia, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Ghana, Guyana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malta, New Zealand, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and many of the English-speaking Caribbean and Pacific island nations. Publications in these countries, including media, generally use British spelling with the suffix -ise in words like realise and organisation. Some international organizations, such as the International Crisis Group and the International Olympic Committee, do the same.

The other main variation is North American spelling, although there are differences between US and Canadian spelling. Publications, including media, in the USA, Liberia, Philippines and a few of the English-speaking Caribbean and Pacific island nations use US spelling and consequently use -ize over -ise spellings. Some international organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, do the same. Publications in Canada use the Canadian variant, which lies somewhere between the US and British spelling variations.

Oxford spelling is a spelling standard that prescribes the use of British spelling in combination with the suffix -ize in words like realize and organization, in contrast to the use of -ise endings. (Note that contrary to popular misconception, -ize is not only a North American spelling but one of two options in British English spelling.)

One of the reasons this standard is arguably the most international is that it uses as many spellings as possible that are acceptable in both British and North American spelling.

House style dictionary

There is more than one English dictionary that employs the Oxford spelling standard. They are different to each other in minor ways. Amnesty International uses the free-to-access website of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) for its house style spellings.4646Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use the Chambers 21stt Century Dictionary any more. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary contains more well established words and more newer additions to the language (this is partly because it is updated far more often), some of which Amnesty International uses regularly. Its preferred spellings are either more contemporary or more international (in that they are common to both British and North American spelling varieties). At the same time, it employs largely the same spelling system as the Chambers 21st Dictionary, so there are few noticeable changes.

The UN also uses Oxford dictionaries as its authority for spelling (http://dd.dgacm.org/editorialmanual/ed-guidelines/style/spelling.htm).

The rationale for choosing the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com) is that it has more words than other dictionaries and is updated frequently. The additions are more contemporary and will be used in both British and North American spelling. There are some changes from previous spelling conventions used by Amnesty International. The most common examples are:

        1. Absence of hyphenation after prefixes in some words

cooperate (not co-operate)

coordinate (not co-ordinate)

undersecretary (not under-secretary)

        1. Hyphenation in some words that were not previously hyphenated

cross-check (not crosscheck)

well-being (not wellbeing)

        1. Spelling of some compound words as one word instead of two words or a hyphenated word

healthcare (not health care)

hotline (not hot line)

pickup truck (not pick-up truck)

        1. Spelling of some compound words as two words instead of a hyphenated word

asylum seeker (not asylum-seeker)

machine gun (not machine-gun)

        1. Spelling of some words without italics

non-refoulement (not non-refoulement)

refoulement (not refoulement)

Capital letters in English

8.1 Capitalization style 123

8.2 Places and capital letters 124

8.2.1 Countries, cities and capital letters 124

8.2.2 Areas and capital letters 124

8.2.3 Geographical terms and capital letters 124

8.3 People and capital letters 125

8.3.1 Common titles and positions and capital letters 125

8.3.2 Former titles and positions and capital letters 125

8.3.3 Unique titles and positions and capital letters 126

8.3.4 Amnesty International positions and capital letters 126

8.4 Entities and capital letters 126

8.4.1 General entities and capital letters 126

8.4.2 Political parties and capital letters 128

8.4.3 Amnesty International entities and capital letters 128

8.5 Documents and capital letters 128

This chapter provides rules and guidance on when to use initial capital letters in English for the names of places, people, entities (such as organizations) and documents. It begins by explaining the style of capitalization to use.

Capitalization style

When capitalizing the names of people, places, entities and documents in English, use title case (also known as headline style).4747Contrary to previous guidance, use title case in all circumstances for documents, international instruments, Amnesty International reports or briefing documents. Use “sentence case” (capitalizing only the first words of the title and subtitle) ONLY for articles. There are several variations of title case. Use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) version:

  • Capitalize the first and last words in the title and in any subtitle.
  • Also capitalize:
    • nouns
    • pronouns
    • verbs
    • adjectives
    • adverbs
    • conjunctions (except “and”, “but”, “for”, “or”, “nor”)
  • Maintain in lower case:
    • the definite and indefinite articles (“the”, “a”, “an”)
    • all prepositions unless they are used adverbially or adjectivally
    • “to” as part of an infinite as in “to run”
    • “as” in all instances
    • the parts of proper names that would normally be in lower case (for example, “van” in Vincent van Gogh)
    • the second part of a species name (for example, “Homo sapiens”)
  • For hyphenated compounds:
    • Always capitalize the first word.
    • Capitalize subsequent words unless they are articles, prepositions or coordinating conjunctions, or a musical symbol (like “sharp” in F-sharp).
    • If the first word is a prefix that could not stand on its own, then place the following word in lower case (for example, “Anti-theft”).
    • Capitalize all words in hyphenated numbers or fractions.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Law Of The People’s Republic Of China On Safeguarding National Security In The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

For English-language names and titles, use title case regardless of the capitalization style used by entities for themselves, their positions or their documents. Note that most entities are not consistent in their capitalization style in any case.

Places and capital letters

Countries, cities and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the names of countries, cities and other localities.

          1. Examples

China

The Hague

North Korea

South Africa

Areas and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for recognized political or geographical areas.

Use initial lower-case letters for descriptive geographical references.

          1. Examples

Central America

East Asia

the Middle East and North Africa

the Mid-West

South-East Asia

the West

BUT

the north-west of Malawi

south-eastern Lagos

southern France

Geographical terms and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for geographical terms (words for human creations like “city”, “state”, “province”, “airport”, “bridge” and words for physical features like “sea”, “river”, “desert”) when strictly part of the name.

Use initial lower-case letters when the geographical terms are not strictly part of the name.

          1. Examples

Salt Lake City [you could not write “she went to Salt Lake”]

Mexico City [“Mexico” is the country name]

Kuwait City [“Kuwait” is the country name]

BUT

Moscow city centre

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta

BUT

Jakarta airport

Cabanas province

Mediterranean sea

Mississippi river

New York state

state of Minas Gerais

People and capital letters

Common titles and positions and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for formal titles when written immediately before a name and without an intervening comma.

Otherwise, use initial lower-case letters, particularly when the phrase is a generic description.

          1. Examples

Queen Elizabeth II

BUT

Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth countries,

the UK’s monarch, Elizabeth II,

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman

BUT

Haitham bin Tariq, the sultan of Oman,

the sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq,

President Vladimir Putin

BUT

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president,

the Russian president, Vladimir Putin,

Vladimir Putin, the Russian head of state,

Prime Minister Netanyahu

BUT

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister,

Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu,

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

BUT

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state,

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

BUT

Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary,

the UK’s foreign minister, Dominic Raab,

Ambassador Neelam Deo

BUT

Neelam Deo, India’s ambassador to Denmark

Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors

Former titles and positions and capital letters

Use initial lower-case letters for former titles and positions.

          1. Examples

former US president Jimmy Carter…

BUT

in 1978 President Jimmy Carter met… [as he was still president at the time]

Unique titles and positions and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the formal titles of offices or positions that might look peculiar in lower case because they are unique to a particular political, institutional or spiritual system.

Use title case regardless of the capitalization style used by the institution in which the office or position sits.

          1. Examples

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

AND

Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader,

Chancellor Angela Merkel

AND

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor,

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

AND

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation4848Contrary to previous guidance, use title case for the full title of UN Special Rapporteurs, rather than capitalizing only “UN Special Rapporteur” (which is the UN’s preferred style, although it is by no means consistent). Using title case for the full title helps clarify when the full title is being used and when an abbreviation is being used.

BUT

UN Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation

the Dalai Lama

the Aga Khan

Amnesty International positions and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the formal titles of specific Amnesty International positions.

Use initial lower-case letters for generic descriptions, abbreviations or paraphrased versions.

          1. Examples

Amnesty International’s Secretary General

Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy

West and Central Africa Regional Office Director

Americas Deputy Director for Research

BUT

regional directors

deputy Europe director

thematic researchers

Entities and capital letters

General entities and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the official titles of entities, such as governments, parliaments, official agencies, courts, judicial bodies, detention centres, and medical and educational institutions. Note that some entities have more than one version of their official title (for example, “US Department of State” and “US State Department”). Consult the websites of the entities if in doubt.

Use initial lower-case letters for abbreviated or paraphrased references to the titles of entities.

          1. Examples

the US Department of State

AND

the US State Department

the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

BUT

the UK government

European governments

the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

BUT

the Iranian foreign ministry

the UK Home Office

BUT

the UK’s interior ministry

France’s National Assembly

BUT

the French parliament

the National Diet of Japan

BUT

Japan’s parliament

the Tunisian parliament’s Rights and Freedoms Committee

BUT

the Tunisian parliament’s rights committee

Peru’s Supreme Court of Justice

BUT

Peru’s supreme court

Bathurst Correctional Centre, New South Wales, Australia

BUT

Bathurst prison, New South Wales, Australia

Jordan’s Public Prosecution Office

BUT

Jordan’s public prosecution

Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg

BUT

the University of Johannesburg’s art department

Political parties and capital letters

Use an initial capital letter for the word “Party” if it is an integral part of the name.

Use an initial lower-case letter for “party” if it is not an integral part of the name.

          1. Examples

the US Republican Party

BUT

India’s Congress party

Indonesia’s Golkar party

Amnesty International entities and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the title of specific entities within Amnesty International.

Use initial lower-case letters for generic descriptions of those entities.

          1. Examples

the West and Central Africa Regional Office

the Public Engagement and Growth Directorate

the Law and Policy Programme

the Business, Security and Human Rights Team

Amnesty International Tunisia

BUT

Amnesty International’s regional offices

Amnesty International’s global programmes

Amnesty International’s thematic teams

Amnesty International’s national entities (national offices, sections and structures)

Documents and capital letters

Use initial capital letters for the official full and abbreviated titles of documents, such as laws and treaties.

Use initial lower-case letters for unofficial abbreviations or paraphrased references to the titles of documents.

          1. Examples

Saudi Arabia’s Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and Its Financing

BUT

Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism law

the Constitution of the Argentine Nation

BUT

the Argentinian constitution

the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

the UN Convention against Torture [official abbreviation]

BUT

the UN torture convention

Amnesty international
is a global movement
for human rights.
When injustice happens
to one person, it
matters to us all.

 Amnesty International 

 HOUSE STYLE 

OPERATIONAL POLICY ON HOUSE STYLE AS APPLICABLE TO ALL LANGUAGES AND HOUSE STYLE IN ENGLISH

This operational policy sets out the house style of Amnesty International’s International Secretariat. It sets out house style as applicable across all languages. This includes universal rules and guidance regarding abbreviations (in languages where this is applicable, captions, footnotes, figures, maps, the naming of places (such as countries), people and entities (such as organizations) and international legal instruments and references (or citations), as well as mentions of disability and illness.

It then sets out house style as applicable to the use of English only. This contains rules and guidance on spelling: punctuation; and certain other aspects of grammar.

The operational policy is intended to save the time of everyone who writes for Amnesty International or who works with the writing of others, such as reviewers, editors, proofreaders and translators. It helps empower originators to be their own first reviewers and frees up the time of reviewers to focus more on the substance than the form. Everyone is expected to follow the self-servicing principle and take responsibility for ensuring their own writing conforms with house style. All reviewers are also expected to ensure that texts they approve conform with house style.

National entities of Amnesty International may have their own house style in English to reflect national preferences for spelling and punctuation conventions. However, the house style that is applicable across all languages should be beneficial for them, too.

  1. See “Statute of Amnesty International, as amended by the 2019 Global Assembly Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2-4 August 2019”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol20/1045/2019/en
  2. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.
  3. Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.
  4. Tip: Using the “Replace” function, “Find” double space and “Replace with” single space.
  5. Tip: If the “author” is a web-only institution, such as an online news provider, you may need to consult the “About us” section of the website to identify the name of the institution rather than the web address.
  6. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use “et al” if there are more than two authors. This contradicted the general guidance to avoid Latin expressions.
  7. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT add a description of the format, such as “Press release”. This was inconsistent (it was not required for other formats such as reports).
  8. Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.
  9. Tip: Copy and paste the web address into an online URL shortener such as Bitly (https://bitly.com) to produce an abbreviated web address.
  10. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to provide abbreviated versions in brackets at first citation since the use of “(previously cited)” at subsequent citations alerts the reader to look for a longer version in an earlier footnote. There is therefore no need to use “hereinafter” to introduce abbreviated versions; in any case, it is archaic style.
  11. Tip: If you are struggling to find a web page, try searching for it in the Internet Archive (https://archive.org).
  12. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT italicize the names of newspapers or magazines in English. The dividing line between newspapers and periodicals, on the one hand, and news agencies, broadcasters and exclusively online news providers, on the other, has become increasingly blurred.Contrary to some interpretations of previous guidance, do NOT include the name of the individual author of the article. This is available at the web address anyway.
  13. In relation to Antigua and Barbuda, do not use “Antiguan” or “Barbudan”, which refer to the component parts of “Antigua” and “Barbuda” respectively.
  14. In relation to Kazakhstan, do not use “Kazakh”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  15. The asterisk refers to the following internationally agreed qualification: “This designation (Kosovo*) is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.”
  16. In relation to Kyrgyzstan, do not use “Kyrgyz”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  17. In relation to Niger, do not use “Nigerien”, which is used in French, but not in English.
  18. In relation to Sao Tome and Principe, do not use “Sao Tomean”, which refers to “Sao Tome” only.
  19. In relation to Tajikistan, do not use “Tajik”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  20. In relation to Trinidad and Tobago, do not use “Trinidadian” or “Tobagan”, which refer to the component parts of “Trinidad” and “Tobago” respectively.
  21. The country’s name changed from “Turkey” in 2022.
  22. In relation to Turkmenistan, do not use “Turkmen”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  23. In relation to the USA, do not use “American”, which refers to the continent.
  24. In relation to Uzbekistan, do not use “Uzbek”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  25. Vatican City is the name of the state. The Holy See (often referred to as the Vatican) is the entity that has sovereignty over it and conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf with other states, including at the UN; it is also the governing body of the worldwide Catholic Church.
  26. Tip: If no results show initially, click “advanced search” and tick “fuzzy search”.
  27. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.
  28. Contrary to previous guidance, use “Al-Qaida” rather than “al-Qa’ida”.
  29. World Conference on Human Rights. 1993.
  30. World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa,
    31 August-7 September 2001.
  31. This convention replaces ILO Convention 107 on Indigenous and Tribal Populations, which the ILO now considers to be outdated due to its assimilationist approach. However, for those countries which are parties to ILO Convention 107 and not ILO Convention 169 (for example Bangladesh), the ILO continues to monitor it, interpreting it in the light of more recent developments in international human rights law.
  32. This protocol concerns the general prohibition of discrimination.
  33. The Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor.
  34. Specifically the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  35. Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995.
  36. Twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, 2000.
  37. Contrary to previous guidance, add the apostrophe for words ending in “s”, “x” or “z”.
  38. Tip: Use a title capitalization tool (for example, https://titlecaseconverter.com) and select Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for the title case (also known as headline style).
  39. Tip: To insert an en-dash in Word, press Ctrl and minus (-) on the numeric keypad of the keyboard. Or insert it from the Insert>Symbol menu.
  40. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use italics for the names of newspapers (or journals or other periodicals) as the distinction between these, news agencies, news portals and broadcasters with online content has become too blurred.
  41. Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn off “Replace Ordinals (1st) with superscript”.
  42. Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn on “Replace Straight quotes with smart quotes”.
  43. Contrary to previous guidance, use the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, not the Chambers 21st Dictionary. Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  44. Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  45. Contrary to previous guidance, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  46. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use the Chambers 21stt Century Dictionary any more. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary contains more well established words and more newer additions to the language (this is partly because it is updated far more often), some of which Amnesty International uses regularly. Its preferred spellings are either more contemporary or more international (in that they are common to both British and North American spelling varieties). At the same time, it employs largely the same spelling system as the Chambers 21st Dictionary, so there are few noticeable changes.
  47. Contrary to previous guidance, use title case in all circumstances for documents, international instruments, Amnesty International reports or briefing documents. Use “sentence case” (capitalizing only the first words of the title and subtitle) ONLY for articles.
  48. Contrary to previous guidance, use title case for the full title of UN Special Rapporteurs, rather than capitalizing only “UN Special Rapporteur” (which is the UN’s preferred style, although it is by no means consistent). Using title case for the full title helps clarify when the full title is being used and when an abbreviation is being used.
  1. See “Statute of Amnesty International, as amended by the 2019 Global Assembly Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2-4 August 2019”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol20/1045/2019/en
  2. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.
  3. Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.
  4. Tip: Using the “Replace” function, “Find” double space and “Replace with” single space.
  5. Tip: If the “author” is a web-only institution, such as an online news provider, you may need to consult the “About us” section of the website to identify the name of the institution rather than the web address.
  6. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use “et al” if there are more than two authors. This contradicted the general guidance to avoid Latin expressions.
  7. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT add a description of the format, such as “Press release”. This was inconsistent (it was not required for other formats such as reports).
  8. Contrary to previous guidance, do not remove “http://”, “https://” and “www.”. This is because experience shows that there is a high risk that, after removing these prefixes, the hyperlink will direct the reader to a OneDrive document as opposed to a web page.
  9. Tip: Copy and paste the web address into an online URL shortener such as Bitly (https://bitly.com) to produce an abbreviated web address.
  10. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to provide abbreviated versions in brackets at first citation since the use of “(previously cited)” at subsequent citations alerts the reader to look for a longer version in an earlier footnote. There is therefore no need to use “hereinafter” to introduce abbreviated versions; in any case, it is archaic style.
  11. Tip: If you are struggling to find a web page, try searching for it in the Internet Archive (https://archive.org).
  12. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT italicize the names of newspapers or magazines in English. The dividing line between newspapers and periodicals, on the one hand, and news agencies, broadcasters and exclusively online news providers, on the other, has become increasingly blurred.Contrary to some interpretations of previous guidance, do NOT include the name of the individual author of the article. This is available at the web address anyway.
  13. In relation to Antigua and Barbuda, do not use “Antiguan” or “Barbudan”, which refer to the component parts of “Antigua” and “Barbuda” respectively.
  14. In relation to Kazakhstan, do not use “Kazakh”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  15. The asterisk refers to the following internationally agreed qualification: “This designation (Kosovo*) is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.”
  16. In relation to Kyrgyzstan, do not use “Kyrgyz”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  17. In relation to Niger, do not use “Nigerien”, which is used in French, but not in English.
  18. In relation to Sao Tome and Principe, do not use “Sao Tomean”, which refers to “Sao Tome” only.
  19. In relation to Tajikistan, do not use “Tajik”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  20. In relation to Trinidad and Tobago, do not use “Trinidadian” or “Tobagan”, which refer to the component parts of “Trinidad” and “Tobago” respectively.
  21. The country’s name changed from “Turkey” in 2022.
  22. In relation to Turkmenistan, do not use “Turkmen”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  23. In relation to the USA, do not use “American”, which refers to the continent.
  24. In relation to Uzbekistan, do not use “Uzbek”, which refers to the ethnic group.
  25. Vatican City is the name of the state. The Holy See (often referred to as the Vatican) is the entity that has sovereignty over it and conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf with other states, including at the UN; it is also the governing body of the worldwide Catholic Church.
  26. Tip: If no results show initially, click “advanced search” and tick “fuzzy search”.
  27. Contrary to previous guidance, there is no need to use the formulation “the armed group calling itself Islamic State” on first mention as it is now sufficiently well known to what entity reference is being made.
  28. Contrary to previous guidance, use “Al-Qaida” rather than “al-Qa’ida”.
  29. World Conference on Human Rights. 1993.
  30. World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa,
    31 August-7 September 2001.
  31. This convention replaces ILO Convention 107 on Indigenous and Tribal Populations, which the ILO now considers to be outdated due to its assimilationist approach. However, for those countries which are parties to ILO Convention 107 and not ILO Convention 169 (for example Bangladesh), the ILO continues to monitor it, interpreting it in the light of more recent developments in international human rights law.
  32. This protocol concerns the general prohibition of discrimination.
  33. The Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor.
  34. Specifically the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  35. Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995.
  36. Twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, 2000.
  37. Contrary to previous guidance, add the apostrophe for words ending in “s”, “x” or “z”.
  38. Tip: Use a title capitalization tool (for example, https://titlecaseconverter.com) and select Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for the title case (also known as headline style).
  39. Tip: To insert an en-dash in Word, press Ctrl and minus (-) on the numeric keypad of the keyboard. Or insert it from the Insert>Symbol menu.
  40. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use italics for the names of newspapers (or journals or other periodicals) as the distinction between these, news agencies, news portals and broadcasters with online content has become too blurred.
  41. Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn off “Replace Ordinals (1st) with superscript”.
  42. Tip: In “Language Preferences” / “Proofing” / “AutoCorrect Options” / “AutoFormat”, turn on “Replace Straight quotes with smart quotes”.
  43. Contrary to previous guidance, use the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, not the Chambers 21st Dictionary. Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  44. Use spellings in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary even when they conflict with previous Amnesty International usage; for example, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  45. Contrary to previous guidance, use “Covid-19” NOT “COVID-19”.
  46. Contrary to previous guidance, do NOT use the Chambers 21stt Century Dictionary any more. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary contains more well established words and more newer additions to the language (this is partly because it is updated far more often), some of which Amnesty International uses regularly. Its preferred spellings are either more contemporary or more international (in that they are common to both British and North American spelling varieties). At the same time, it employs largely the same spelling system as the Chambers 21st Dictionary, so there are few noticeable changes.
  47. Contrary to previous guidance, use title case in all circumstances for documents, international instruments, Amnesty International reports or briefing documents. Use “sentence case” (capitalizing only the first words of the title and subtitle) ONLY for articles.
  48. Contrary to previous guidance, use title case for the full title of UN Special Rapporteurs, rather than capitalizing only “UN Special Rapporteur” (which is the UN’s preferred style, although it is by no means consistent). Using title case for the full title helps clarify when the full title is being used and when an abbreviation is being used.