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International Human Rights Law

International Human Rights Law (10th edn)

Rhona K. M. Smith
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date: 22 March 2023

p. 755. Regional protection of human rightslocked

p. 755. Regional protection of human rightslocked

  • Rhona K. M. SmithRhona K. M. SmithProfessor of International Human Rights, Newcastle University


This chapter examines the rationale behind developing regional protection of human rights. This is something not initially viewed positively across the international system, but is now an integral part of human rights monitoring and protection in Africa, the Americas and Europe. It discusses the advantages of regional systems and then overviews the three principal regional systems that promote human rights: the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union. These regional systems are each quite advanced and so are considered in further detail in dedicated regional chapters (Chapters 6–8). Finally, other regional initiatives are outlined with a particular focus on the pan-Arab system and the work of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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