For more than half a century, the world community has sought to codify a series of fundamental precepts intended to prevent such abuses of human rights as torture, discrimination, starvation, and forced eviction. The United Nations, other international organizations, regional institutions, and governments have developed various procedures for protecting against and providing remedies for human rights violations.
International Human Rights Law is a comprehensive introductory treatise, intended for all concerned about this critical area of international law, including students, lawyers, other advocates, teachers, and academics. The book comprises three sections: an overview of the development of human rights as a domain of international law; a collection of brief summaries of each of the rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other critical human rights instruments; and a review of the national, regional, and international procedures for implementing human rights precepts.
The overview traces the history of human rights, from early philosophical and religious ideas and theories of natural law to modern formulations. The second section contains concise summaries of the substantive principles of and practices relevant to self-determination, equality, life, slavery, torture, fair trial, detention, privacy, health, food, housing, and clothing, as well as emerging rights such as sustainable development, environmental health, peace, and security from terrorism. A final section describes UN human rights procedures (both Charter-based and treaty-based); criminal procedures; African, European, inter-American, and other regional systems; national institutions and processes, truth and reconciliation commissions, and nongovernmental organizations. Throughout, example cases are cited, and each chapter concludes with a list of the most useful print and web resources.