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It is entirely unclear whether human rights conventions achieve any greater level of respect and compliance than the underlying norms on which the conventions are grounded. It is unclear, in other words, whether anything is gained by taking a moral norm and embedding it in a legal instrument. This Article concludes with speculation about why rights activists struggle to obtain legal recognition for moral norms— whether pledges, in other words, give added value. Answering this question will require considerable additional empirical research and analysis.

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