Carter Center Launches First of its Kind Database to Support Democratic Elections

By Hakes, Deborah
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Atlanta…The Carter Center this week launched the Database of Obligations for Democratic Elections, the first of its kind to consolidate more than 150 sources of international law related to human rights and elections that can be used by international and domestic election observers to assess elections. The database represents a critical step in building consensus toward a single common set of internationally accepted criteria for assessing democratic elections.

For the first time, election observers will have a single source to research a country's ratified or endorsed international and regional treaties and instruments to facilitate holding the country accountable to those standards when assessing an election's conduct. Easy to use and searchable, the database also will enable election observers and interested citizens to learn more about a country's international human rights obligations regarding democratic elections.

The database is one part of the Center's Democratic Election Standards project, which began in 2006 and is funded by IrishAid and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). One goal of the project has been to identify obligations for democratic elections in international law so that these obligations can better serve as the basis of assessments made by international election observers. More information about the Center's project can be found at

The database may be found at


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.