Human Rights

Human Rights can be defined as rights which are inherent to all human beings irrespective of their language, race, religion, sex or any other status. Everyone is entitled to these rights without any discrimination. These rights are inalienable. The rights to life, equality before law, freedom of expression etc. are some of the most important human rights. They involve both rights and obligations. While we enjoy our rights we should also respect human rights of other human beings.

Internationally, these rights have been categorized into civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. The development of the movement for the protection of human rights internationally was made under the aegis of the United Nations Charter. The UN Charter came into force on 24 October 1945 by the resolution of the permanent members of UN Security Council and focused on achieving higher standards of living, universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without any discrimination and addressing social, economic and health related problems.

The Government of every country has an obligation to protect and promote fundamental freedom of all its citizens. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, is a milestone document and sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected. It is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Since, then numerous other treaties have been adopted, the seven core treaties are,

  • ICCPR - International Covenant on Civil And Political Rights

  • ICESCR - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • ICERD - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

  • CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

  • CAT -Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

  • CRC - Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • ICMRW - International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

The General Assembly established the UNHRC- United Nations Human Rights Council on 15 March 2006.The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body comprised within the United Nations and is made up of 47 States. It is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the world. It allowed countries with poor human rights records to be members which lead to its replacement. The UNHRC addresses important human right issues like freedom of expression, freedom of belief and religion, freedom of association and assembly, the rights of racial and ethnic minorities and women's rights. The General Assembly reckons the contribution of candidate states for promotion and protection of human rights.

Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policies in the Indian Constitution are considered to be the product of Human Rights Movement in the country. There is a separate legislation enacted for the protection of these rights, i.e., Human Rights Act, 1993, and to enforce them, Human Rights Commissions and Courts, e.g., NHRC, SHRC and Human Rights Courts have been constituted.

There are various NGO’s working to protect human rights, some of them are:-

  • Amnesty International [Website: www.amnesty.org]

  • Global Rights [Website: www.globalrights.org]

  • Human Right watch [Website: www.hrw.org]

  • International Committee of the Red Cross [Website: www.icrc.org]

  • International Federation for Human Rights [Website: www.fidh.org]

  • Norwegian Refugee Council, [Website: www.nrc.no]

  • Refugees International [Website: www.refugeesinternational.org/]

  • UN Watch [Website: www.unwatch.org]

  • Human Rights Foundation [Website: www.humanrightsfoundation.org]

  • Protection International [Website: http://www.protectioninternational.org]


Key Documents

United Nations Charter
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as amended by Protocols No. 11 and No. 14
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
United Nations Millennium Declaration
OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa
Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war of 12 August 1949
The Refugee Convention, 1951
Convention and Protocol relating to the status of refugees
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Violation of Women Human Rights in India
Women's Rights are Human Rights
Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Rules, 1988
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
African Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples Rights
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
Brussels European Council 29-30 October 2009
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Charter of the United Nations, 1945
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degarding Treatment or Punishment
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of as amended by Protocols no. 11 and 14
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 28.7.1951
Council Directive 2004-83-EC
Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women
International Bill of Human Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees 16.12.1966
The Charter Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa Maputo Protocol
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012
United Nations Millennium Declaration
Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 1952
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women
Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict
Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Universal Declaration on Democracy, 1997
Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1948
Convention on a Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision- Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
ABM Treaty
ACCOBAMS Agreement
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels -ACAP_Agreement
Agreement on the Conservation of African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds
Antarctic Treaty WC 1959
ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution
Assistance Convention Vienna 1986
Bamako Convention 1991
Barcelona Convention 1976
Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed
Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movement 1989
Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movement
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction 1975
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction
Bucharest Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution 1992
Canberra Convention 1980
Carpathian Convention - PROTOCOL
Carpathian Convention
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Cartagena Convention 1983
Chemical Weapons Convention
CITES Convention 1973
Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa
Convention for Protection & Development of Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region
Convention for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region 1986
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
Convention on Biological Diversity 1992
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident Vienna 1986
Convention on Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Seas 1958
Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution 1979
Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere
Convention on Nuclear Safety 1994
Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Others Matter
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992 (HELSINKI CONVENTION)
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat
Convention On the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accident 1992
International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 1966
International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
International convention for the Regulation of Whaling 1946
International convention on civil liability for oil pollution damage (clc) 1992
International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea London 1996
International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Co-Operation 1990
International Convention Relating to Intervention on the high Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties 1969
Kyoto Protocol 1997
Montreal Protocol 1989
Minamata Convention on Mercury
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 1987
Nairobi Convention 1985
North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation
OSPAR Convention 1992
Adoption of the Paris Agreement 2015
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty
Regional Convention, Jeddah 1982
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade Rotterdam 1998
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants 2001
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
US- Canada Air Quality Agreement
Vienna Convention On Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage 1963
Waigani Convention 1995
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural
Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities
Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation 1994
Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1945
Constitution of the World Health Organization
Constitution of UNESCO
Convention of the World Meteorological Organization
Convention Establishing a Customs Cooperation Council
Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol
Geneva Convention I
Geneva Convention II
Geneva Convention III
Geneva Convention IV
Geneva Conventions -Protocol I
Hostages Convention
Madrid Agreement
Madrid Protocol
Nagoya Protocol
Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
SAARC Charter
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
WIPO Convention
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World Organisations

united-nation

United Nation

world-trade-organisation

World Trade Organisation

world-health-organisation

World Health Organisation

World-Bank

World Bank

international-labour-org

International Labour Organisation

unfpa

UNFPA

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NGOs in India

goonj

Goonj

helpage-india

HelpAge India

nanhi-kali

Nanhi Kali

salaam-baalak

Salaam Baalak

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International NGOs

amazon-watch

Amazon Watch

freedom-house

Freedom House

human-right-foundation

Human Right Foundation

amnesty-international

Amnesty International

asiaeurope-foundation

Asia Europe Foundation

united-nation

Oxfam

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