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Article

Abstract

The fifty years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have seen a revolution in the promulgation and universalization of human and labor rights. Human rights conventions have proliferated in the areas of civil and political rights, social and economic rights, and the rights of women, children, minorities, and refugees. Many of these conventions have been ratified by a majority of the nations of the world. International monitoring of human and labor rights compliance is conducted by international institutions such as the U.N. Human Rights Commission and the International Labour Organization (ILO), by regional entities such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and by national governments. Since the end of the Cold War, significant steps toward international judicial enforcement have been made through the development of regional courts such as the European and Inter- American Courts of Human Rights, through the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), and through the 1998 agreement to establish a Permanent International Criminal Court. Peacekeeping efforts such as that of the United Nations in East Timor and the military intervention of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Kosovo also have been motivated substantially by human rights concerns. The ICTY's indictment last year of Slobodan Milosevic, a sitting head of state, was a striking pronouncement of the extent to which international human rights enforcement mechanisms have developed.

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