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Global Human Rights Instruments Collection

International Courts Association; P.A. van Laar (ed.)


There are many universal instruments relating to human rights. The legal status of these instruments varies: declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules and recommendations have no binding legal effect, but such instruments have an undeniable moral force and provide practical guidance to States in their conduct; covenants, statutes, protocols and conventions are legally-binding for those States that ratify or accede to them. In this work, an overview of universal human rights Instruments is created. This Collection aims to provide the reader with a legal resource that is easy to use yet complete and detailed. In the following volumes, continental human rights instruments will be discussed as well. Also the enforcement of human rights by international courts and tribunals will be researched and published.

Human rights are rights that apply to every human being in the world, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. This makes them subject to many regulations and laws in national and international contexts. It is not easy to create an overview of peoples’ human rights, since they are extensively covered in treaties, declarations, guidelines, principles and other international legal texts. However, for many people, human rights are their last resort. In areas of constant conflict, such as in parts of Africa, due to absence of a functioning national legal system, human rights serve as a last resort for the possibility of legal retaliation for many people. Human rights are inalienable. They should not be taken away, except in specific situations and according to due process. For example, the right to liberty may be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems. All States have ratified at least one, and 80% of States have ratified four or more, of the core human rights treaties, reflecting consent of States which creates legal obligations for them and giving concrete expression to universality. Some fundamental human rights norms enjoy universal protection by customary international law across all boundaries and civilizations.

Overview of the Collection:

Volume Number Volume ISBN Softcover ISBN Hardcover DATE
Universal Human Rights Instruments (Part 1) 1 9789058870278 9789058870285 2012
Universal Human Rights Instruments (Part 2) 2 9789058870315 9789058870292 2012
Universal Human Rights Instruments (Part 3) 3 9789058870339 9789058870322 2012
Inter-American Human Rights Instruments (Part 1) 4 9789058870353 9789058870360 2012
Inter-American Human Rights Instruments (Part 2) 5 9789058870377 9789058870384 2012
Inter-American Human Rights Instruments (Part 3) 6 9789058870391 9789058870407 2012
The African Court on Human and People's Rights; basic Documents 7 9789058871756 9789058871763 2013
COMPENDIUM OF BILATERAL AND REGIONAL INSTRUMENTS; FOR SOUTH ASIA RELATED TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND TERRORISM; volume 1 8 - 2019
COMPENDIUM OF BILATERAL AND REGIONAL INSTRUMENTS; FOR SOUTH ASIA RELATED TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND TERRORISM; volume 2 9 - 2019
COMPENDIUM OF BILATERAL AND REGIONAL INSTRUMENTS; FOR SOUTH ASIA RELATED TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND TERRORISM; volume 3 10 - 2019
COMPENDIUM OF BILATERAL AND REGIONAL INSTRUMENTS; FOR SOUTH ASIA RELATED TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND TERRORISM; volume 4 11 - 2019