FOUNDATION: Unit VI. International Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement 5 of 11

Treaty-Based Monitoring Instruments
The UN’s components promote human rights norms in a general sense. Sometimes the UN takes enforcement action through its Security Council when a situation of human rights violation also threatens international peace and security. In addition, principal organs, central agencies, and specialized UN review bodies monitor state behavior on human rights under international standards.

The major multilateral human rights treaties have committees that monitor the implementation and state enforcement of treaty obligations. The Convention Against Torture, for example, has a committee called the Committee Against Torture.

For more information, click here:
Major Human Rights Treaties.

UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR)
observation post in Croatia, 1994

Most human rights monitoring committees are composed of individual experts nominated and elected by states who are party to the relevant treaty. Another important function of these committees is to give general comments that serve to clarify the meaning of language in a treaty. Each committee can only provide general comments on the obligations listed in its respective treaty.

The Human Rights Committee is the monitoring body of the ICCPR. Like the other committees, it uses three main procedures to monitor or enforce its related treaty:

  • a state reporting procedure,
  • an individual complaint procedure, and
  • a state-to-state complaint procedure.

Should the UN monitor state compliance with specific treaty obligations? What should the UN do when a state breaks a specific treaty obligation?
US State Dept Assessment on HR
violations of every state except US