FOUNDATION: Unit VI. International Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement 2 of 11


Any discussion of human rights or humanitarian standards in international law might seem meaningless unless the rights involved can be enforced by a court. US citizens normally expect rights to be protected by courts.

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Treaties in US Courts

However, there can be application of international human rights and humanitarian law outside of courts through education and training. So, these norms may indeed be meaningful, if they affect behavior, even without court enforcement.

When a human rights treaty is part of US law (because it’s self-executing or has been implemented into US law by the passing of federal legislation), the US courts are the interpreters of human rights treaties and the US authorities enforce their rulings.

What protections, however, are available at the international level? How are human rights treaties implemented and enforced among states? What international bodies are responsible for monitoring how well countries comply with their international obligations?

How should international treaties be enforced? Does the UN need more power to enforce treaties?

Should states give up sovereignty? Could a one-world government be a reality?

If you are a visitor in another country and your rights are violated, how should the situation be handled? Which government would have the right to oversee the problem?

How do we monitor the rights of foreign citizens within our country?

Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims
International Protection of Human Rights