HuriSearch was a multilingual human rights search engine, providing a singular point of access to information published on over 5,000 websites of human rights organisations worldwide. It also aimed to provide more visibility to the websites of NGOs around the world that often do not appear at the top of the result lists of general search engines – even though these sites can contain the most relevant and up-to-date information.
HuriSeach indexed and crawled about 8 to 10 million web pages. Search results could be filtered by individual source, type of source and country.
Work on HuriSearch was started in 2003 and it was officially launched on 10 December 2006. Initially, HURIDOCS collaborated with FAST Search & Transfer; from 2010 on, our technology partner was Dominique Bejean of Eolya Consulting.
“Human rights groups around the world are creating a search engine to help co-ordinate campaigns against abuse. The database behind the search system pools data about dissidents, the abuse they have suffered, and campaigns that highlight when freedoms are restricted.”
—”Search engine aids rights workers” published by the BBC on 1 December 2006
The project was made possible with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and other donors investing in better technology for human rights. Our staff put considerable efforts into identifying the relevant sites to keep the engine updated. As the funding for the project became scarce in 2012, it significantly limited our ability to responsibly maintain and upgrade HuriSearch. In 2016, HuriSearch was taken offline.
We have received a number of emails inquiring about the fate of HuriSearch, and we regret that we are unable to sustain this tool. We feel that these inquiries show tremendous appreciation for this tool from the human rights community. It also underscores the important role that the tool played in the daily work of human rights advocates and organisations.