HUMAN RIGHTS AND
Human rights officers should be aware of the whole range of international human rights
norms, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, although the specific
focus of their monitoring work may vary based on the specific mandate of each field
International human rights law contains specific provisions for groups requiring special
protection, such as refugees, internally displaced people, women, minorities and children.
International human rights and humanitarian law requires States to prosecute and
punish those responsible for violations of such law, for the purpose of ending impunity.
1. This chapter provides a brief summary of international human rights and humanitarian law standards applicable to the work of HROs. In addition, more detailed coverage of standards relating to specific areas of international human rights may be found in Part Three: “The Monitoring Function”, in the chapters relating to such areas as elections, detention, economic, social and cultural rights, internally displaced persons, refugees, fair trial, and others.
2. The HRO should be aware, however, that this summary provides only a brief view of the larger constellation of international human rights and humanitarian law norms. The present Training Manual focuses on only a few basic international human rights and humanitarian law norms without suggesting that these are the only rights of concern to HROs. In order to narrow the scope of this chapter, the rights discussed were chosen