U.N. Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The UDHR recognizes that the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination

1965 (1969)
The ICERD aims to eliminate discrimination in the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and to provide effective remedies against any acts of racial discrimination through national tribunals and State institutions.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

1966 (1976)
The ICESCR commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labour rights and the right to health, the right to education, and the right to an adequate standard of living.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

1966 (1976)
The ICCPR addresses the State’s traditional responsibilities for administering justice and maintaining the rule of law. Many of the provisions in the Covenant address the relationship between the individual and the State.

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women

1979 (1981)
Despite the existence of international instruments which affirm the rights of women within the framework of all human rights, a separate treaty, CEDAW, was considered necessary to combat the continuing evident discrimination against women in all parts of the world; specifically with regard to participation in public life, marriage, family life and sexual exploitation.

Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

1984 (1987)
The CAT requires States parties to take preventive action against torture such as the criminalization of acts of torture and the establishment of laws and regulations to promote respect for human rights among its public servants for both the alleged victim and the accused.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

1989 (1990)
The CRC is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Convention generally defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless an earlier age of majority is recognized by a country's law.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families

1990 (2003)
The MWC constitutes a comprehensive international treaty regarding the protection of migrant workers’ rights. The Convention does not create new rights for migrants but aims at guaranteeing equality of treatment, and the same working conditions for migrants and nationals.

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

The Declaration aims both to preserve cultural diversity as a living treasure and as a process guaranteeing the survival of humanity; and to prevent segregation and fundamentalism in the name of cultural differences.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2006 (2008)
The CRPD is intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.