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Over the last half-century, the number of treaties that address issues of human rights has grown from a handful to hundreds. The majority of nations now belongs to a panoply of international agreements-some regional, some universal-that address human rights issues ranging from labor standards to the treatment of prisoners to gender equality. The last decade in particular has witnessed a concerted push from the United Nations to bring nations into the human rights fold through ratification of the six core United Nations human rights treaties. Yet despite the proliferation of treaties and the growing attention to countries' decisions to join them, little attention has been paid to what influences countries' decisions to join these treaties.

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