Skip to Main Content

Government Resources about Genocide and Modern Slavery: U.S. Government Resources

Guide created for Yuma Totani's HIST 296 course, Genocide and Modern Slavery


The Government Documents collection contains a wide variety of resources for your research from all federal government branches and departments. These documents are available either in our physical collections or in online formats. We also provide access to a comprehensive collection of the publications and issuances of the United Nations and related organizations.

What you'll find in Government Documents:

  • Primary sources such as congressional bills, court decisions, testimony, speeches, videos, and U.N. resolutions

  • Secondary sources like statistics, government reports, blog posts, and legal analyses

Search Tips

The databases and digital resources included in this LibGuide will yield primary and secondary source materials for your research. 

The following keywords will help with your searches in the library catalog or databases.

  • genocide
  • war crimes
  • crimes against humanity
  • international crimes tribunal
  • international criminal law
  • ethnic cleansing
  • mass violence
  • human rights violations
  • sex trafficking
  • human trafficking
  • child labor
  • modern slavery
  • sexual slavery
  • slavery
  • forced labor
  • indentured labor
  • involuntary servitude

For phrases, try using quotation marks around the phrase to keep the words together in your search.

Also, combine them with geographic areas you are searching for, e.g. "ethnic cleansing" AND Yugoslavia. Other search tips are interspersed among the resources in the guide.

Legal Materials Research

Use this resource when you need to do legal research, primarily dealing with the U.S. but also includes foreign and international law databases.
HeinOnline provides access to these special databases which pertain to your research focus:

  • Law Journal Library

  • Civil Rights and Social Justice

  • Foreign & International Law Resources Database

  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture, and Law / American Indian Law Collection

  • International Law Association Reports

  • U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library

  • World Trials Library

It also contains databases dedicated to:

  • treaties
  • constitutions
  • case law
  • world & international trade
  • foreign relations
  • and much more

HeinOnline allows for broader historical research, providing coverage, from inception, of more than 2,600 law journals and publications. 

Also useful are research Pathfinders, which are collections of resources by subject, for example, Human Rights Law or Crimes Against the Person. These pathfinders will pull up links to documents such as Library of Congress research reports or law journal articles on topics related to war crimes or genocide.

U.S. Government Agencies

Use the links below to find the most current initiatives, programs, and resources from U.S. government agencies.

Be aware that this information comes from official departments; thus, if you are looking for reports or articles about possible U.S. involvement or responsibility for war crimes or other investigative materials, you might try the IGOs, or OneSearch (our library finding tool) which search databases and collections written by non-governmental sources as well.

Government Information

GovInfo is the digital repository of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). This resource provides access to authenticated publications from all three branches of government. Coverage is strongest from the mid-1990s onwards, but older documents can be found here as well. New content is added daily. Use this database to find the text of legislation, speeches, testimony, etc.

What can I find in GovInfo?

Congressional hearings, reports, and testimony related to your research topics, such as:

  • 107th Congress House Hearing on Armenian Genocide

  • 103rd Congress congressional record on Rwanda

  • 111th Congress Senate Hearing on Guantanamo Bay

  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearings on Human Trafficking

  • Senate Hearing on Human Trafficking Investigations

Image of GovInfo advanced search feature

In GovInfo, click on the Advanced tab above the search bar for more powerful searches. You can then filter for:

  • date ranges (date is after, date is between, etc.)
  • collection (Congressional Documents, Congressional Reports, etc.)
  • and whether you want to search in Full Text, branch, category, or other areas.


HathiTrust is a collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items.

HathiTrust includes full text of many hard to find books, historical government publications, rare books and serials
Full-text access and downloading is available for these items:

  • US federal government documents
  • Works published before 1927 (i.e., in the public domain) 
  • Works still protected by copyright, but made available to HathiTrust with the permission of the copyright holder

HathiTrust advanced search example using search terms "sexual slavery", Japan, and World War 2

Tips for searching in HathiTrust

Click on "Advanced Full-text Search" under the main search bar. This allows for more specific searching by title, subject, or author, and for "exact phrase" or "any of these words," among other features. 

For example, if you are doing research on sexual slavery in Japan during World War II, select

  • "Full-Text + All Fields" from the first pull-down menu in each line,
  • then use quotation marks around "sexual slavery" to keep the phrase together
  • enter Japan on the next search field,
  • then World War II in another search field.
    • Remember to select "this exact phrase" or "any of these words" in the second pull-down menu.

Library of Congress

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide.

It is updated frequently and draws on information from official national legal publications and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the Global Legal Monitor.
You can do a search for "war crimes," genocide, or other related research keywords, and refine your results by

  • date
  • topic
  • jurisdiction (geographic area).

Government Documents Librarian

Profile Photo
Gwen Sinclair
2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu HI 96822

Hamilton Library/Government Documents Research

OneSearch is Hamilton Library's discovery tool that searches many of our physical collections and databases.

This resource is good for comprehensive research from historical to the most current materials, from a wide variety of sources.
The link above takes you to the Advanced Search screen.

In the Advanced Search screen, separate out your search terms to find relevant results.

For example,

  • in the first line, type "war crimes" in quotes to keep the phrase together
  • then in the next field, specify the geographical area, such as Yugoslavia.
  • in the third line, you can type "Government docs" if you want your results to specifically include resources from our Government Documents collection.
  • Many materials are available online, and will appear in the results list as well.

OneSearch advanced search screenshot

Other Government-related Resources

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is the nation’s premier collection of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management. 
Advanced Search function available from the homepage:

  • Click on Advanced Search above the search bar
  • select "Full text contains" from the pull-down menu
  • Enter a search term like Guantanamo in the "All of the words" field
  • filter for date or more search terms in "any of the words" or "exact phrase" boxes.

National Archives

Links to PDFs of many of the records of the

  • U.S. Nuernberg War Crimes Trials
  • International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuernberg
  • U.S. Army War Crimes Trials in Europe
  • War Crimes Trials in the Far East.