What Is International Law and Human Rights

What Is International Law and Human Rights

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) are independent bodies created to defend vulnerable people and hold governments accountable for their human rights obligations. They also help shape laws, policies and attitudes that create stronger and more just societies. NHRIs must adhere to a set of minimum international standards known as the Paris Principles to demonstrate that they can fulfill this role and demonstrate their independence from government. Obligations under international law are binding on countries that have agreed to abide by them. This means that when the British government has signed a treaty and Parliament has ratified it, the country has made a formal commitment and the government must do whatever the treaty requires. To achieve these objectives, the Commission is mandated to “collect documents, conduct studies and research on African problems in the field of human and peoples` rights, organize seminars, symposia and conferences, disseminate information, encourage national and local institutions dealing with the rights of individuals and peoples and, where appropriate, to express their views or make recommendations to Governments”. [13] [14] The Covenant deals with rights such as freedom of movement; equality before the law; the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of expression and expression; peaceful assembly; freedom of association; participation in public affairs and elections; and the protection of minority rights. It prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of life; torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; slavery and forced labour; arbitrary arrest or detention; arbitrary invasion of privacy; war propaganda; discrimination; and the defence of racial or religious hatred. Most major human rights treaties have a monitoring body to review the implementation of the treaty by countries that have ratified it. Individuals whose rights have been violated can file complaints directly with the committees that oversee human rights treaties.

Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe is the oldest organisation committed to European integration. It is an international organization with legal personality recognized by international law and observer status with the United Nations. The seat of the Council is in Strasbourg, France. International human rights law governs relations between States and individuals and is based on a number of treaties and agreements between sovereign States, international laws and international declarations and conventions. Parties bound by IHL and human rights IHL binds all parties to an armed conflict, thereby establishing equal rights and obligations between the State and the non-governmental party for the benefit of all those who may be affected by its conduct (an essentially “horizontal” relationship). (See question 8.) Human rights law explicitly governs the relationship between a State and persons within its territory and/or subject to its jurisdiction (essentially a “vertical” relationship) and defines the obligations of States towards individuals through a wide range of conduct. Thus, human rights standards are binding only on States, as evidenced by the fact that human rights treaties and other sources of human rights standards do not create legal obligations for non-State armed groups. The reason for this is that most such groups are not able to fulfil all the obligations under the Human Rights Act because, unlike Governments, they cannot fulfil the functions on which the implementation of human rights standards is based. There is a notable exception to this generalization about non-State armed groups: cases in which a group, usually due to stable control of territory, has the capacity to act as a State authority, and where its responsibility for human rights can therefore be recognized de facto. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 countries. These Member States have decided to share part of their sovereignty in order to allow collective decision-making on issues that concern them all. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights brings together a wide range of human rights and freedoms in a single document.

The Paris Principles were defined at the first International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, held in Paris from 7 to 9 October 1991 and adopted by United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/54 of 1992 and General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 1993. The Paris Principles list a number of responsibilities for national human rights institutions. [44] The African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights is the region`s main human rights instrument, established under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (now replaced by the African Union). The intention to elaborate the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights was announced in 1979. The Charter was adopted unanimously in the OAU Assembly in 1981. International human rights law sets out the obligation of Governments to act or refrain from certain actions in order to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. National human rights institutions (NHRIs) have been established in more than 110 countries to protect, promote or monitor responsible human rights in a given country. [41] Although not all NHRIs comply with the Paris Principles,[42] the number and influence of these institutions is increasing. [43] Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe is the oldest intergovernmental organisation in Europe.

It has 47 Member States, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Member States have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty for the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The European Court of Human Rights monitors the implementation of the Convention in the Member States. The Council and the Court of Justice of the European Communities shall have their seat in Strasbourg, France. The personal scope of action is intended to protect persons who are not or no longer taking part in hostilities. It protects civilians and combatants hors de combat, such as the wounded, sick and shipwrecked or prisoners of war. (See question 7.) Human rights standards, which were developed primarily in peacetime, apply to all persons under the jurisdiction of a State. Unlike IHL, it does not distinguish between combatants and civilians and provides for categories of “protected persons”. Human rights are rights inherent in all human beings, without distinction as to race, sex, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, the right not to be subjected to slavery and torture, freedom of expression and expression, the right to work and education, and much more. Everyone has the right to these rights, without discrimination. A number of international human rights treaties and other instruments adopted since 1945 have expanded the whole of international human rights law.

These include the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), inter alia. In a broader sense, the UDHR has become a key reference in human rights. It laid the foundations for subsequent international human rights instruments, which constitute a non-binding but ultimately authoritative international human rights law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration of the United Nations General Assembly that does not create binding international human rights standards in its form. Many jurists cite the UDHR as evidence of customary international law. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (which, as NHRI, covers England and Wales, as well as human rights issues in Scotland reserved for the Westminster Parliament), the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. The equality and human rights commission`s mandate with respect to equality law extends throughout the United Kingdom. Many countries in the Americas, including Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, have been accused of human rights violations. The European Convention on Human Rights has defined and guaranteed human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe since 1950. [29] The 47 member states of the Council of Europe have signed this Convention and are therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. [29] In order to prevent torture and inhuman or degrading treatment[30],[31] the Committee for the Prevention of Torture was established. [32] The relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law is controversial among scholars of international law.