The aim of this volume is to provide an overview of the development, contents and challenges of international human rights law, which can serve to inform those new to the topic and also be of benefit to those seeking to further their knowledge of particular aspects of that law. The subject of human rights is increasingly complex as it enters its eighth decade of development since the end of the Second World War. New rights are emerging or being proposed, existing rights have been expanded or reformulated. Nearly all global and regional intergovernmental organizations now engage in standard-setting and monitor to a greater or lesser extent the human rights actions of their members. Those organizations that have not incorporated human rights considerations in the exercise of their mandates are increasingly criticized for failing to do so by the ever-growing number of civil society organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights. At the same time, debate continues over how to reconcile and balance human rights concerns with what may appear to be competing primary mandates of organizations dedicated to other matters, such as trade, environment or economic development.
No doubt remains that the observance of human rights is a matter of international concern, but in part as a consequence of this development many human rights bodies created within international organizations struggle to meet expanded expectations, new functions and a growing caseload. At the same time, human rights bodies often encounter resistance to compliance with norms and...
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