The Effectiveness of UN Human Rights Institutions

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - 168 pagine

Since the 1970s, the international community of states has demonstrated increasing willingness to invest UN institutions with politico-ethical authority to act on its behalf in addressing human rights abuses. Through trial and error, some of these institutions have had a degree of success in securing better practical observance of international human rights standards. Flood examines the reasons why some structural approaches have had more impact than others. He argues that states must make policy choices in an environment where many political actors operate simultaneously and where several state interests are in play simultaneously. This situation creates the political space in which community structures can operate to influence behavior. Because states require the active or tacit cooperation of other states to promote their interests, they seek to avoid prolonged political isolation. Thus, the most effective UN human rights institutions are those linked in meaningful ways with Charter-based human rights mechanisms.

These mechanisms--thematic and country-specific--have different structural advantages, and their concrete effectiveness depends on the specific circumstances of the particular case they are asked to address. There is evidence that they have greater impact when employed simultaneously, as well as when key states support their efforts bilaterally. Through case studies, Flood analyzes the work of the thematic mechanisms on disappearances and religious discrimination and the country-specific mechanisms used with Chile and Iran. He concludes that Charter-based UN human rights institutions have become an enduring part of the international environment and that their activities have strengthened the concept and practice of state accountability to the international community for human rights conduct.


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Human Rights What They Are How They Acquired International Importance and How They Relate to State Sovereignty
The UN Human Rights System
The Working Group on Enforced Disappearances
Special Rapporteur on the Elimination of Religious Discrimination and Intolerance
Special Rapporteur on Chile
Special Rapporteur on Iran
Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of UN Human Rights Institutions
General Assembly Resolution 33173 on Disappeared Persons 1978
Commission on Human Rights Resolution 20 XXXVI on Disappeared Persons 1980
Human Rights Commission Resolution 198620 on the Elimination of Religious Discrimination and Intolerance
Human Rights Commission Resolution 198463 on Human Rights in Chile
Human Rights Commission Resolution 1984541 on Human Rights in Iran
Human Rights Commission Draft Resolution ECN41984L23 on Establishing the Post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
General Assembly Resolution 48141 Establishing the Post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 1993
Selected Bibliography

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Parole e frasi comuni

Informazioni sull'autore (1998)

Patrick James Flood is a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer who earned a PhD in political science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst after completing a career with the Department of State. His career included major responsibilities for human rights and international organizations policy, both in Washington and at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva. He has worked extensively in Eastern European, Soviet, Latin American, and refugee affairs. In 1994 and 1995, he was Visiting Lecturer in International Relations at the Budapest Economics University. He has also taught at the University of Massachusetts, Elms College, and Western New England College.

Informazioni bibliografiche