FOUNDATION: Unit III. Human Rights in International Law 4 of 7

Human Rights Treaties and Their Purpose
  Human rights treaties are generally multilateral rather than bilateral. These treaties have usually been created through the United Nations and other international organizations such as the Council of Europe or the Organization of American States. Sometimes special diplomatic conferences also negotiate treaties.

The aim of human rights treaties is to specify internationally agreed-upon standards of human rights in a legally binding form. Treaties are created through diplomatic bargaining among states, usually with an informal role for non-state actors as well. The final text of the treaty is the product of compromises that accommodate each state’s differing views and interests.
International human rights treaties aim to expand the protections of human rights that individuals may already enjoy through their domestic laws. When states become parties to a treaty, through ratification or accession, the states are required to incorporate the treaty’s protections into their domestic laws. Often a treaty requires states to submit periodic reports to the treaty’s monitoring body indicating the progress they have made in promoting rights protected by the treaty.

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ratification or accession


In dealing with a problem, one can look to different authorities, from local government to global international organizations. What are the intermediate organizations between your local government and global organizations like the United Nations? What steps can an individual take to bring about change?

About the OAS
Council of Europe