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International Protection and Promotion of Human Rights

Every person is born with a set of basic human rights. However, not everyone gets to live peacefully with them. Many people, organizations. and governments violate these human rights. This leaves millions of people around the world vulnerable and unprotected. That’s why international law outlines protections for human rights. In addition, many organizations work to promote human rights and awareness of what they are.

History of International Human Rights

The first notion of international human rights as a formal legal structure was introduced in 1948. That year, the United Nations (UN) and its members adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This came on the heels of the atrocities committed during World War II.

These atrocities inspired people to vow to never see this kind of pain and suffering again and resulted in the creation of the first legally binding international human rights treaty. The declaration sets out 30 basic human rights. But more than that, it is also the symbolic representation that people do have fundamental rights.

International Human Rights and the United Nations

The UN is the principal body that works for the protection and promotion of human rights. It elaborated and promoted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Additionally, it has a number of bodies that work exclusively on protecting the rights set out in the documents.

Further, the UN monitors and develops international law treaties. The main office in charge of human rights protections is the office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Main International Law Treaties

Internationally, there are a number of instruments, documents, and treaties that work to protect and promote human rights. Here are some of the main ones:

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

The UN presented ICERD in 1965, and it was ratified in 1969. The convention mandates that its signatories prevent all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

One of the controversial issues in the ICERD is the ban on hate speech and membership in racist organizations. This controversy is due to the fact that it counters the right to the freedom of speech and association.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

ICCPR was written in 1966 and came into force in 1976. It outlines a number of individual rights under civil law. Essentially, it promotes democracy and political freedom. Some of the rights included in the ICCPR are rights to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights, and rights to due process and a fair trial.

International Convenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

In the same year as the ICCPR, the UN also adopted the ICESCR. Rather than political rights, it speaks to the social rights of individuals. For example, the ICESCR includes labor rights, the right to education, health, and an adequate standard of living.

Supporting or opposing changes to any matter of law, policy or practice can significantly benefit humanitarian organizations and NGOs. Here’s a list of 20 Dedicated Humanitarian Advocacy Organizations.

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

Some describe the CEDAW as the “International Bill of Rights for Women.” Throughout history, women have faced extensive discrimination and inequality. CEDAW promotes the equitable treatment of women and their access to human rights.

Human rights are standards that are essential to the full development of individuals and communities. They allow all people to live with dignity, freedom, equality, justice and peace. Gender equality is such a basic human right. Many organizations are working day and night to solve the inequality between men and women. Here’s a list of 20 organizations that address gender equality.

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

Freedom from torture is one of the basic human rights. This convention stands to ensure that this right is respected.

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Signatories are legally bound to prevent torture on their territory. In addition, they must not deport any individual to a place where there is a possibility of torture or cruel punishment.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Besides women, children make up another large segment of the population who are extremely vulnerable. They can face discrimination, forced labor, lack of care, as well as other human rights violations. The CRC sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health, and also the cultural rights of children.

When we speak about vulnerable people, no person is more vulnerable than a child. Children’s rights are the rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care accorded to minors. Because millions of children are affected daily by war, poverty, and human rights abuse. Fortunately, the rights and well-being of children are a significant issue and a major goal for many international organizations.

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

Hundreds of millions of people are migrants. This means that there is a large volume of persons whose rights aren’t always protected in their destination countries. The ICMRW tries to counter this by setting out a number of basic rights of migrant workers and members of their families.  Particularly, it aims to reinforce the respect for migrant workers’ basic human rights.

Today, one in every seven people is a migrant – be it a refugee, a student, a migrant worker or a professional who moves between international postings. The International Organization for Migration works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and also non-governmental partners to work towards a humane and orderly migration.

Fighting for Human Rights

Fortunately, many organizations are dedicated to protecting human rights every single day. This doesn’t mean human rights don’t get violated. It frequently happens in every country on our planet. In order to prevent these violations, there are a number of organizations that work to protect and promote human rights.

Everything You Need to Know about Human Rights

Humanitarians continuously work towards the protection and promotion of human rights. Even if their main mission is different, human rights always figure in the humanitarian approach. For example, humanitarians save lives because they believe in the individual’s right to life. Here you can take a closer look at the different aspects of human rights, their characteristics, history, and more.

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