International Human Rights Public Protection Association

International Human Rights

What is International Human Rights Law

The international human rights movement gained strength when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. Formulated as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, the Declaration for the first time in human history describes the basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should have. It has over time become widely accepted as a fundamental norm of human rights that all must respect and protect. The UDHR together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two optional protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, form the so-called International Bill of Human Rights.


A range of international human rights treaties and other instruments adopted since 1945 have provided a legal form on underlying human rights and developed the international human rights body. Other instruments have been adopted at the regional level that reflect the region’s specific human rights concerns and provide specific mechanisms of protection. Most states have also adopted constitutions and other laws that formally protect basic human rights. While international treaties and customary law form the backbone of international human rights law, other instruments, such as declarations, guidelines and internationally adopted principles contribute to its understanding, implementation and development. Respect for human rights requires the establishment of the rule of law at the national and international level.


International human rights law sets out the obligations that states are obliged to respect. By being parties to international treaties, states assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect, protect and fulfill human rights. The obligation to respect means that states must refrain from interfering or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.

The obligation to protect requires states to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfill means that states must take affirmative action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights.

Through centuries of ratification of international human rights, governments act to implement domestic measures and laws consistent with their treaty obligations and duties. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communication are available regionally and internationally to ensure that international human rights standards are actually respected, is implemented and implemented locally.