International human rights law is a body of international law that is aimed at securing and protecting human rights at the regional, international, and domestic level. The international law ensures that governments and individuals are able to protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals as stated in human rights treaties. In addition, international human rights promote effective relationships among different nations all over the globe as citizens can interact effectively. It is worth noting that the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a treaty but it is often considered as a binding agreement under the customary international law. Human rights bear significant features including inherence, universality, equality, evolution, and restrictions. These features play an instrumental role in boosting the promotion and respect of human rights all over the globe. The United Nations is concerned with the protection and respect of human rights and is always focused on ensuring that these fundamental rights are upheld significantly by various countries around the globe. It is vital to note that the nine core international human rights treaties cover a range of human rights, hence, ensuring that all individuals are respected equally. Some of these conventions include the International Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965 (ICERD), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979 (CEDAW) and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights 1966 (ICESCR. Additionally, there is the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984 (CAT), Convention on the Human Rights of the Child 1989 (CRC), International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 1990 (ICRMW), International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 2006, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (ICRPD).
This paper explicates different human rights laws that relate to international law.
The study of international human rights is vital because it helps in understanding conventional rights and freedoms of states and individuals all over the globe. People get an understanding of their rights through the study of international human rights. Notably, human rights are significant, as they ensure that the security of all individuals is guaranteed and people are able to live in harmony. The United Nations is concerned with ensuring that all human rights including core and non-core human rights are protected effectively hence enabling people live in harmony with each other. The International Criminal Court is in place to ensure that all individuals and states involved in the breach of human rights are dealt with appropriately. Therefore, the International Criminal Court handles criminals involved in the facilitation and commission of offenses against people.
Most of the past studies emphasized on the significance of human rights and their role in the promotion of harmonious living among all people. The past studies suggested that the protection of international human rights is vital because it ensures that all individuals are safeguarded. Additionally, international human rights are all inclusive and do not give some people an advantage over other people. Past studies indicate that international human rights are accommodative and protect all individuals equally without putting into consideration their racial backgrounds, sexual backgrounds, physical, and mental abilities. International law on human rights aims at teaching all individuals the fundamental rights and freedoms that they are entitled to, hence, ensure that they understand the manner in which they are supposed to operate and ensure that their rights are protected effectively.
It is also vital to note that past studies emphasized the key characteristics attributable to international human rights. These studies indicated that one of the key characteristics of international human rights is equality. Equality ensures that these rights are available to all individuals without any favors. More so, studies indicated that international human rights would be significant in cases where they are conventional. Conventionality means that these rights are similar to all individuals around the globe. International human rights are similar to all individuals without considering their origins and backgrounds. Additionally, international human rights are inherent. This implies that they are applicable to all people by the virtue of being human beings. Human rights also keep evolving according to the changes in the needs of human beings around the globe. The evolution of international human rights is inevitable as the needs and desires of people around the globe keep changing. Evolution ensures adaptability and effective application of international human rights in all situations. The last key characteristic is restrictions. International human rights are subject to restrictions hence ensuring that they are not over-practiced by individuals. This implies that human rights should not be used to commit offenses against other people, but should be used to promote peace among all individuals. They should be utilized for the good of all individuals.
This study aims at highlighting vital human rights related to international law. It is vital to understand these laws as they are applied to different individuals and their importance in the lives of all individuals around the globe. The United Nations has always tried to emphasize the protection of human rights and ensure that those who commit crimes against humanity are charged in the International Criminal Court. The subject of human rights is also important because it facilitates the understanding of humanity and the manner in which individuals are supposed to operate and interact with each other in society.
Concept of Human Rights
International human rights law refers to the body of international law that is designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional, and domestic levels. This implies that the international human rights law is always available to guarantee the security of all individuals at all times. The concept of human rights emphasizes that human rights are inalienable fundamental rights that all people are inherently entitled to by the virtue of being human beings. The quality of humanity automates the applicability of these rights to all individuals, hence, ensuring that they can live in peace with each other. International human rights are made up of treaties, agreements between states, the customary international law, and the rules of law derived from the consistent operations of different states. International human rights law have been considered as legally binding principles, any act, aimed at limiting the enjoyment of these rights, is taken into consideration seriously, and judicial actions taken against individuals limiting the enjoyment of these rights.
It is vital to note that in the international practice the doctrine of human rights, within regional and global institutions, international law, activities of non-governmental organizations, and in the policies of states has been the cornerstone of public policy around the globe. The concept of human rights has helped in the protection of all populations around the globe without putting into consideration their ethnic, racial, and sexual backgrounds. The doctrine of human rights ensures that all individuals are able to live in harmony and work significantly toward the common objectives in society. The entire doctrine of human rights continues to elicit immense debate and skepticism about the nature, content, and justifications of human rights in society. People around the globe are still seeking an effective understanding of human rights and the applicability of these rights among individuals.
Notably, it is asserted that many ideas surrounding the concept of human rights came into place after the Second World War and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. These crimes necessitated the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly. These rights were made universal and enforceable to all individuals at regional, international, and domestic level. The concept of human rights also plays a vital role in ensuring that people accommodate each other in society and live according to the internationally accepted principles within society. While studying the concept of human rights, it is important to note that ancient societies had elaborate systems of carrying out duties, ways of promoting social justice, political legitimacy, and the well-being of individuals. The traditional systems of operations can be compared to the current concept of human rights as they both involved the accommodation of all individuals and harmonious living within society. Again, it is worth noting that the modern concept of human rights developed during the early Modern period and the European secularization of Judeo-Christian ethics.
Therefore, the concept of human rights provides that all human beings are born free and equal and have the potential for self-expression within society. People have the right to autonomy and personal decision-making according to their interests as long as they do not interfere with other peoples’ enjoyment of human rights. Different states around the world also have to ensure that all individuals involved in the commission of offenses against human rights are prosecuted appropriately in line with international standards. In cases of a failed state, the International Criminal Court comes in and ensures that effective rights and freedoms of all individuals are provided effectively. It ensures that all individuals are secured appropriate and can live in peaceful coexistence. Thus, the concept of human rights aims at securing the lives of all individuals and ensuring that they live peaceful lives with respect for all other individuals without discriminating their racial, sexual, and ethnic backgrounds.
Human Rights Law and the International Law
The human rights laws enshrined in the international law emphasize on the protection of all human being and effective mutual existence. It is worth noting that international human rights are formed by conventions in international law. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (ICERD) is one of the human rights conventions and it asserts that all human beings are supposed to be treated equally without any form of discrimination. All forms of discrimination must be eliminated significantly and ensure that all people live as equal individuals in society. Therefore, this convention articulates human rights, hence, protecting them against any form of discrimination within society. Another significant convention is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR). This convention sustains the protection of human rights by ensuring that all individuals have the right to exercise their political views. Civil and political rights give people the autonomy to lead their countries according to the international standards on leadership. This right ensures that individuals are not limited in terms of exercising their political and civil rights.
Accordingly, there is also the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights 1966 (ICESCR). With this convention, all people around the globe should be allowed to own property, interact with others, and exercise their cultural rights. People have the right to uphold their culture without any form of limitation and this would ensure that all individuals live appropriately within society. In line with this convention, all people have the right to possess property as long as they acquire it using rightful means. Additionally, cultural interactions and social interactions are taken into consideration keenly. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979 (CEDAW) emphasizes that all women around the globe should be treated equally as their male counterparts. This implies that they should not be discriminated in terms of employment, education, and other forms of living within society. They should be guaranteed full rights to pursue their rights similar to their male counterparts, as this would ensure that they work toward the achievement of their goals. In addition, this convention of human rights affirms that all women are human beings and should not be discriminated based on their sexual backgrounds.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984 (CAT) provides that all people around the globe must be kept free from torture and other forms of degradation. This means that all human beings have a right to liberty. Any state or individual does not have the authority to put others to torture or any other form of degradation. The United Nations guarantees that all people are equal and would only be put to torture in cases where the law asserts such and it is in line with the standards on humanity. The Convention on the Human Rights of the Child 1989 (CRC) supports children’s rights. Children have the right to effective parental care, love, food, shelter, and education. According to the United Nations, states should not use their children in the army and they should not allow any form of mistreatment against children. Children are the future of any country and must be protected accordingly to ensure they also achieve their dreams and grow into responsible adults.
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 1990 (ICRMW) emphasizes the rights of migrant workers in different states. They should be protected similar to citizens within the country, instead of discriminating against them. The last core convention that provides for human rights in the international law is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (ICRPD). Disable individuals should be treated similar to all other individuals without considering their physical and mental disabilities. They are all humans and effective care should be taken to ensure that they also live normal lives to reach their goals and aspirations within society.
The international law ensures that all these rights are provided and safeguarded appropriately, hence, facilitating their enjoyment among all individuals around the globe. The international law recognizes the fact that human rights should be applied equally, conventionally, and must have restrictions that ensure they are enjoyed by all members of society. Human rights continue to enhance effective relationships among different countries and are supported by the standards set by the international law. Human rights laws ensure that all people are subjected to equal treatment and have adequate space to enjoy their rights all over the globe.
Criminal Actions Involving Human Rights
The violation of human rights happens when state or non-state actors engage in actions that entail the abuse, omission, and the denial of the basic human rights such as economic rights, civil rights, and socio-cultural rights. The violation of human rights could also occur in cases where state or non-state actors go against the provisions of the UDHR treaty and any other international standards or fundamental human rights. Concerning the violations of UN laws on human rights, Article 39 of the United Nations Charter provides that the UN Security Council is the only appropriate tribunal that may determine the violation of human rights. United Nations Committees, governments, national institutions, and independent non-governmental institutions are involved into monitoring human rights observance around the globe. Significant institutions involved in the monitoring of human rights include the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Freedom of Expression Exchange, International Federation of Human Rights, the World Organization against Torture, and the Anti-Slavery International.
The International Criminal Court is in charge of dealing with violators of human rights especially in cases where it is deemed that their states of origin do not have significant institutions of justice. Some of the violations of human rights include the involvement or facilitation of war crimes, aggression wars, and crimes against humanity, and the facilitation of genocide.
Criminal actions may involve the criminal being hanged. The vivid example is the hanging of Saddam Hussein because of the accusations leveled against him, involving the violation of human rights. The hangman noose is utilized to ensure that the criminal is done away with as a form of justice to punish for the victims whose rights have been violated. Another vital action is life imprisonment. Most criminals are always subjected to long term imprisonment which is tantamount to life imprisonment. The life imprisonment is accompanied by many restrictions and difficult labor to ensure that the individual pays for the crimes against humanity. The property of the criminal may also be confiscated and he may be required to pay huge sums of money to compensate victims who suffer from these actions. Criminal actions against criminal offenders of human rights are subjected to severe actions which help in the restriction of further crimes against humanity. Criminal actions taken against violators of human rights ensure that such actions do not recur all over the world but are put to a stop.
In conclusion, international human rights laws ensure that fundamental rights of individuals around the globe are protected effectively according to the assertions of the United Nations concerning human rights. The UN lays down effective standards and principles that facilitate the protection of the rights such as the right to liberty, freedom of speech and association, protection from torture, protection from sexual and racial discrimination, and the protection of the discrimination of the physically challenged within society. These rights are supposed to be equal, universal and must have restrictions that ensure they are enforced effectively. Many studies have come to the conclusion that international human rights are vital because they promote confidence among all individuals, hence, facilitating the prosperity of the whole world. The international law guarantees all rights and ensures that all countries are able to work in line with these rights. The United Nations, independent non-governmental organizations, and the government work hand in hand to ensure that the rights of all individuals are protected and provided for adequately. Some of the criminal actions would involve life imprisonment, hanging of criminals, and the payment of enormous fines used for the compensation of victims. Therefore, the international law requires all state and non-state individuals to respect and enhance fundamental human rights.