Women's Human Rights Resources Database
Applying International Human Rights Law
For international and regional human rights law to effectively protect and promote women's rights, states must implement human rights treaties and women and their advocates must use the available enforcement mechanisms. This section of the database provides resources about the ways in which international human rights law can be used to advance women's rights at the international, regional and national levels. Key scholarly articles examine ways to use the international and regional human rights systems and to apply international human rights law at the national level. Documents and links include information from the United Nations, other agencies and non-governmental organizations that describes women's rights litigation, advocacy and organizing strategies to enforce international human rights.
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International Level: The enforcement mechanisms for international human rights treaties are: (1) a state reporting process, through which the United Nations treaty bodies monitor state compliance with treaties; and (2) a communication (complaints) processes for individuals or groups. Civil society is increasingly active in using these mechanisms to promote respect for women's rights.
Search Tip: To find resources about using the international human rights system enter "applying and international" into the keyword field on the search form.
Regional Level: Europe, the Americas and Africa have regional human rights systems. The key treaties are the European Convention on Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights . Each of these treaties has mechanisms in place to monitor state compliance with human rights obligations through periodic state reports and communications (complaints) from individuals or groups.
Search Tip: To find resources about using the regional human rights system enter "applying and regional" into the keyword field on the search form.
National Level: In some states, international and regional treaties are "self-executing" meaning that they become part of national law as soon as the state ratifies or accedes to a treaty ("monist" systems). In other states, treaties do not become part of domestic law unless national legislation is passed to incorporate their provisions ("dualist" systems). Either way, once the necessary implementation process has taken place, national courts and legislatures must then respect the rights encompassed in the texts.
Search Tip: To find resources about applying international human rights law at the national level enter "applying and domestic" into the keyword field on the search form.Browse this subject for: