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The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal 2nd ed

Edited by: Federic Megret, Philip Alston

ISBN13: 9780198298380
Published: April 2020
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £47.49
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780198298373

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The very concept of human rights implies governmental accountability. To ensure that governments are indeed held accountable for their treatment of citizens and others the United Nations has established a wide range of mechanisms to monitor compliance, and to seek to prevent as well as respond to violations.

The panoply of implementation measures that the UN has taken since 1945 has resulted in a diverse and complex set of institutional arrangements, the effectiveness of which varies widely. Indeed, there is much doubt as to the effectiveness of much of the UN's human rights efforts. Inevitable instances of politicization and the hostile, or at best ambivalent, attitude of most governments, has often endangered the fragile progress made on the more technical fronts.

In addition to significant actual and potential problems of duplication, overlapping and inconsistent approaches, there are major problems of under-funding and insufficient expertise. The complexity of these arrangements and the difficulty in evaluating their impact makes a comprehensive guide of the type provided here all the more indispensable.

These essays critically examine the functions, procedures, and performance of each of the major UN organs dealing with human rights, including the Security Council and the International Court of Justice as well as the more specialized bodies monitoring the implementation of human rights treaties. Significant attention is devoted to the considerable efforts at reforming the UN's human rights machinery, as illustrated most notably by the creation of the Human Rights Council to replace the Commission on Human Rights. The book also looks at the relationship between the various bodies and the potential for major reforms and restructuring.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
1. The Security Council
2. The General Assembly
3. The Economic and Social Council
4. The International Court of Justice

5. The Human Rights Council and the Commission on Human Rights
6. The Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
7. Human Rights Council Advisory Committee
8. The Commission on the Status of Women
9. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

10. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
11. The Human Rights Committee
12. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
13. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
14. The Committee against Torture and the Sub-committee for the Prevention of Torture
15. The Committee on the Rights of the Child
16. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
17. The Committee on Enforced Disappearances
18. The Committee on the Human Rights of Migrant Workers

19. The Secretary General and the Secretariat
20. The High Commissioner for Human Rights
21. Human Rights Co-ordination within the UN System