International human rights law

International human right law

The international human rights movement was strengthened when the United Nations General Assembly adopted of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. Drafted as ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations', the Declaration for the first time in human history spell out basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy. It has over time been widely accepted as the fundamental norms of human rights that everyone should respect and protect. The UDHR, together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, form the so - called International Bill of Human Rights.

A series of international human rights treaties and other instruments adopted since 1945 have conferred legal form on inherent human rights and developed the body of international human rights. Other instruments have been adopted at the regional level reflecting the particular human rights concerns of the region and providing for specific mechanisms of protection. Most States have also adopted constitutions and other laws which formally protect basic human rights. While international treaties and customary law form the backbone of international human rights law other instruments, such as declarations, guidelines and principles adopted at the international level contribute to its understanding, implementation and development. Respect for human rights requires the establishment of the rule of law at the national and international levels.

International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect. By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights.

Through ratification of international human rights treaties, Governments undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communications are available at the regional and international levels to help ensure that international human rights standards are indeed respected, implemented, and enforced at the local level.

Treaties

Treaties

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

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

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

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Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

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International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

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International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED) International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED)

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International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocols International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocols

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

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Soft Law

Soft Law

General Comment No 34 of the Human Rights Committee, on Freedom of Opinion and Expression General Comment No 34 of the Human Rights Committee, on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

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United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights colour poster of unofficial simplified text Universal Declaration of Human Rights colour poster of unofficial simplified text

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United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules)

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United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (The Nelson Mandela Rules) United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (The Nelson Mandela Rules)

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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General Comment No 32 of the Human Rights Committee, on Right to Equality before courts and tribunals and to a Fair Trial General Comment No 32 of the Human Rights Committee, on Right to Equality before courts and tribunals and to a Fair Trial

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United Nations Instruments on the Rights of Victims of Human Rights Violations United Nations Instruments on the Rights of Victims of Human Rights Violations

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General Comment No 2 of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on Accessibility General Comment No 2 of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on Accessibility

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General Comment No 1 of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on Equal Recognition before the law General Comment No 1 of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on Equal Recognition before the law

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General Comment No 35 of the Human Rights Committee, on Liberty and Security of person General Comment No 35 of the Human Rights Committee, on Liberty and Security of person

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United Nations Instruments on Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers United Nations Instruments on Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers

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General Comment No 35 of the Human Rights Committee, on Right to Equality before courts and tribunals and to a Fair Trial General Comment No 35 of the Human Rights Committee, on Right to Equality before courts and tribunals and to a Fair Trial

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United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials

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United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems

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United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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United Nations Commentary and Guidelines on Eviction and Resettlement United Nations Commentary and Guidelines on Eviction and Resettlement

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Guiding Principles on Business and human rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework Guiding Principles on Business and human rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework

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Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions

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