It is often supposed that international human rights standards were negotiated without active participation by Middle Eastern and Muslim states. That was not the case. United Nations records document the contributions of Arab and Muslim diplomats from 1946-1966. Diplomats from the Islamic world did not always agree with each other, but their various contributions resulted in the assertion of a right to self-determination, the most comprehensive statement of universality, culturally sensitive language about religious beliefs, and a separate article promoting gender equality. Initially they proposed robust mechanisms for implementation, and they actively opposed the isolation of socioeconomic rights into a separate covenant. Not all of their efforts were successful, and not all of their positions were liberal. While their role as participants and promoters of human rights should not be exaggerated, neither should it be discounted.
Roth, Kenneth. Defending economic, social and cultural rights: practical issues faced by an international human rights organization.
Human rights advocacy.
International human rights organizations can play a productive role in advancing economic, social, and cultural rights. They can (1) collaborate with partner organizations in the developing world in lobbying for systems of services that meet needs in a manner consistent with human rights requirements; (2) advocate for resources to fulfill economic, social, and cultural rights, especially by lobbying for funds from wealthy countries; and (3) monitor compliance by states with the increasingly explicit obligations, including core obligations, to protect, respect and fulfill these rights. To engage in these activities, international human rights organizations can build on the analytical capacity and other strengths they have developed in advancing civil and political rights but need to develop additional methods and competencies. At the same time, they will need to deepen partnerships with national and community-based organizations.
This article contemplates the constitutionalization and concomitant judicial enforcement of social rights as an avenue through which such rights may be realized domestically. Through engaging with the South African example, the article challenges perceptions that social rights are by nature ill-suited for domestic application, while illustrating that the pervasiveness of such perceptions continues to hinder the effectiveness of domestic application. It is shown that the development of a dynamic and coherent domestic jurisprudence on social rights that resonates with international standards and translates into tangible rights enjoyment, depends on judicial willingness to depart from outmoded approaches to rights-adjudication.
This paper demonstrates why human rights measurement is important, how human rights have been measured to date, and how such measures can be improved in the future. Through focusing primarily but not exclusively on the measurement of civil and political rights, the paper argues that human rights can be measured in principle, in practice, and as outcomes of government policy. Such measures include the coding of formal legal documents, events-based, standards-based, and survey-based data, as well as aggregate indicators that serve as indirect measures of rights protection. The paper concludes by stressing the need for continued provision of high quality information at the lowest level of aggregation, sharing information and developing an ethos of replication, and long term investment in data collection efforts.
In this article, Paul Hoffman, the Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, presents Amnesty's view that the way in which the "war on terrorism" has been waged threatens to undermine the international human rights framework so painstakingly built since World War II. Written before the Abu Ghraib revelations became public, the paper argues that abandoning human rights in times of crisis is shortsighted and self-defeating. A "war on terrorism" waged without respect for the rule of law undermines the very values that it presumes to protect. We must restore the balance between liberty and security by reasserting the human rights framework, which provides for legitimate and effective efforts to respond to terrorist attacks.
Great Britain. Treaties, etc. Ireland, 1998 Apr. 10.
Human rights -- Northern Ireland.
Under the auspices of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissionhas recently published a draft Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. It is argued here that before deciding on the content of a Bill of Rights, serious consideration should be given to the underlying question of the value of a Bill of Rights in a divided society. In addressing this question, this article advances four main arguments: First, a Bill of Rights can empower individuals and minorities to challenge governmental policy. Second, rights litigation under a Bill of Rights can provide an added channel of political participation. Third, a Bill of Rights can operate as a useful constraint on majoritarianism. Fourth and finally, it can contribute toward the common good of a just, tolerant society.
Can the transformation of the Organization of African Unity into the African Union and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) really make a difference for human rights on the African continent? This article sets out the commitments of the new African continental instruments in relation to democracy and the rule of law and concludes that they are useful and important—but also that NEPAD in particular has significant deficiencies. The second half of the article sets out five themes that should receive greater attention if true effort is to be made to address Africa's problems.
This paper, as its primary task, makes a case for a new conceptualization of political repression to take into account the experiences of women. The secondary task is to demonstrate that the new conception is operational. After establishing the characteristics of repression that are essentially the ill fate of women, the author coded reports from two sources into numerical data for fifty-seven country cases. Using this preliminary data on women's repression both in correlation and regression analyses, this research tests two counterpoised hypotheses, one claiming women's empowerment leads governments to choose repression and the other is that women's weakness allows repression. The results are promising but represent only a beginning. This study should encourage governments and human rights NGOs to collect more substantial reports on the repression of women.
The aim of this paper is to explore Amnesty International's relationship with the United Nations over time, whereby particular attention is paid to the period since the mid-1990s. The proposition of this study is that the NGO changed its pattern of activity with the United Nations depending on the prospects it perceived to advance human rights. Most significantly, over the last decade, Amnesty International has broadened its spectrum of activities with the United Nations, and today, it is basically involved in all stages of the political process; from agenda setting to policy formulation and project implementation.
We aim to complement the work of legal scholars by investigating the effects of constitutional provisions for states of emergency, on the respect for personal (or physical) integrity rights, in instances in which governments are confronted with domestic crises. Our findings show that such constitutional provisions have an important impact on governments' propensities to abuse such rights. However, these impacts are not always what one might expect, and indeed, our findings suggest that following the recommendations of lawyers groups may actually have a damaging effect on human rights in many instances.