Human Rights and United Nations

Human rights and the United Nations (UN) have a deep and interconnected relationship. The promotion and protection of human rights are central to the UN's mission and are enshrined in its founding documents.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, the UDHR is a landmark document that sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected. It encompasses civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and serves as a global standard for human rights.

International human rights treaties: The UN has developed and adopted several international human rights treaties that member states are encouraged to ratify and implement. Notable examples include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Human rights bodies and mechanisms: The UN has established various bodies and mechanisms to monitor and promote human rights. These include the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Human Rights Council, and treaty-based bodies such as the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. These entities play a crucial role in monitoring human rights situations, conducting reviews, and making recommendations to member states.

Human Rights Council (HRC): The HRC is the primary intergovernmental body within the UN system responsible for human rights. It is composed of member states and holds regular sessions to address human rights issues, review country-specific situations, and adopt resolutions and recommendations.

Special procedures: The UN appoints independent experts, known as Special Rapporteurs, to examine specific human rights themes or situations in different countries. They conduct fact-finding missions, report on human rights violations, and make recommendations for action.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes the SDGs, which aim to address various global challenges, including poverty, inequality, and climate change. The SDGs integrate human rights principles and emphasise the interdependence between development and human rights.

Human rights advocacy: The UN provides a platform for member states, civil society organisations, and individuals to advocate for human rights. It offers spaces for dialogue, convenes conferences and forums, and encourages the participation of diverse stakeholders in promoting and protecting human rights.

While the UN plays a crucial role in advancing human rights, challenges and criticisms remain. These include concerns about the effectiveness of human rights mechanisms, the politicisation of human rights issues, and the need for greater implementation and enforcement of human rights standards worldwide. Nonetheless, the UN continues to serve as a global forum for addressing human rights violations, setting standards, and fostering dialogue and cooperation to promote a world where all individuals can enjoy their human rights and dignity.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham
ESSEC Business School

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.