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Cover International Human Rights Law

4. The International Bill of Human Rights  

This chapter analyses the history and principles of the International Bill of Human Rights, which is the ethical and legal basis for all the human rights work of the United Nations. The Bill consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, two Optional Protocols annexed thereto, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and Protocol. The chapter also assesses whether the Bill of Human Rights has lived up to the expectations of the original proponents.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

30. Poverty  

Stephen P Marks

This chapter, which addresses the challenge posed by poverty to human rights protection, first explains the meaning of ‘poverty’ and explores its relationship to human rights, development, and social justice. It also considers the context of globalization, and then illustrates the ways in which human rights concerns diverge from those of development and poverty reduction. The chapter examines how economists think about poverty and human rights, and analyses the thinking of governors of central banks and ministers of finance. Next, it addresses the convergence between human rights and anti-poverty agendas, beginning with some economic thinking that is congruent with human rights, and then turns to policies aiming to combat poverty using human rights tools.

Chapter

Cover International Law

25. International Human Rights Law  

Nigel Rodley

This chapter considers the background to, and current developments concerning the manner in which international law has engaged with the protection of human rights, including both civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights. It looks at historical, philosophical, and political factors which have shaped our understanding of human rights and the current systems of international protection. It focuses on the systems of protection developed by and through the United Nations through the ‘International Bill of Rights’, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN human rights treaties and treaty bodies, and the UN Special Procedures as well as the work of the Human Rights Council. It also looks at the systems of regional human rights protection which have been established.

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Cover International Human Rights Law

12. Education and Work  

Fons Coomans

This chapter discusses two human rights that belong to the category of economic, social, and cultural rights: the right to education and the right to work. It explains how the modern view of the nature of economic, social, and cultural rights can be applied to these rights. The chapter discusses the sources of the rights under international human rights law, their main features, and components; the obligations resulting from each right; and the relationship of each right with other human rights. Both rights are crucial for the ability to live a life in dignity and develop one’s personality.

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Cover International Human Rights Law

17. Children’s Rights  

Aoife Nolan

Centring on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the work of its treaty-monitoring body, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, this chapter addresses the key sources, developments, standards, and debates regarding international children’s rights law. In tackling questions related to CRC rights, obligations, duty-bearers, jurisdiction, and limitations, the chapter makes clear the strengths and weaknesses of both the CRC and the enforcement mechanisms associated with that treaty. The chapter provides an in-depth discussion of the past record and future prospects of the CRC in terms of responding meaningfully to the diverse challenges faced by children.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

32. Pandemics  

Meghna Abraham

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the difficulties that states face when responding to public health emergencies. This chapter explores obligations under human rights law and health law treaties to prepare and prevent pandemics and the reasons that states have failed to meet these obligations. Next, it considers the challenges of responding to a pandemic and the difficulties of striking an appropriate balance between protection of life and health and enjoyment of other rights. Finally, the scope of the obligation to provide international assistance in the form of vaccines and other medical resources is discussed.