Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments - Vol. 1

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments - Vol. 1

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments - Vol. 1

Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This revised compilation of universal human rights instruments is issued in two parts. It replaces volume I of the two-volume compilation of international instruments published by the United Nations in 1993. It has been prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Volume II of the compilation, published in 1997, contains regional instruments.

For reasons of space, the compilation is not a comprehensive collection of all international human rights instruments. However, the opportunity has been taken in this new edition of volume I to broaden as well as to update the selection, which contains documents adopted up to 18 December 2002. The first part now includes the Declaration and Programme of Action of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and the United Nations Millennium Declaration. Instruments on the rights of persons with disabilities have been brought together in a single section.

In the second part of volume I a new section is added that contains the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions. There is also a new section on the Right to Health, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is included in the section on the Rights of Migrants. The Statute of the International Criminal Court and those of the International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda are included in the second part.

The compilation includes instruments adopted by the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Complete listings can be found on the relevant web sites (www.ilo.org, www.unesco.org, www.unhcr.ch).

The legal status of the instruments contained in the compilation varies. Declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules and recommendations have no binding legal effect.

Nevertheless, such instruments have an undeniable moral force and provide practical guidance to States in their conduct. The value of such instruments rests on their recognition and acceptance by a large number of States and, even without binding effect, they may be seen as declaratory of broadly accepted goals and principles within the international community.

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