A Legal Framework for Protection

Question: What is the value of a simple “promise” to respect human rights standards if it is not supported by legal mechanisms? Is it better than nothing? Various international and regional instruments are part of the international firearms legal system. While this plurality of instruments demonstrates the complex and multidimensional nature of firearms-related problems, they also illustrate the need for diverse and multidisciplinary approaches and the central role that firearms continue to play in the international agenda. The Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990) refers to a person who is “employed, employed or has engaged in gainful activity in a State of which he is not a national” (Article 2, paragraph 1) and to the members of his family. The Treaty not only describes the general human rights that should benefit such persons, but also specifies that there should be no discrimination with regard to the enjoyment of rights such as liberty and security, protection from violence or deprivation of liberty, whether documented and in a regular and legal situation or not. Adequate legal and institutional frameworks are of paramount importance for the realization of the right to social security. Ultimately, the protection of human rights depends mainly on mechanisms at the national level. The Commissioner may deal ex officio with any matter within his or her jurisdiction. Although the Commissioner cannot deal with individual complaints, he can act on the basis of all relevant information on general aspects of human rights protection as enshrined in Council of Europe instruments. Such information and requests for processing may be addressed to the Commissioner by governments, national parliaments, national ombudsmen or similar institutions, as well as by individuals and organisations. The Commissioner`s thematic work included the publication of reports, recommendations, opinions and positions on the human rights of asylum seekers, immigrants and Roma. Strasbourg, Geneva (8 March 2022) – Gender equality is far from being a reality for many women and girls around the world. International and regional legal frameworks provide the tools needed to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, international and regional experts said today. The adoption of the 1988 constitution marked an important milestone in the history of Brazil`s social security system by introducing a universal model of social security based on civil rights.

The Constitution establishes the responsibility of the State for the organization and legislation of social security. This should be in line with the principles of universality of protection, adequacy of […] International instruments such as declarations, resolutions, principles, guidelines and rules are not legally binding on a technical level. They express generally accepted principles and constitute a moral and political obligation on the part of States. They can also serve as guidelines for States in the adoption of laws and the formulation of policies relating to persons with disabilities. The rights of refugees are particularly guaranteed by the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The only regional system with a specific instrument for the protection of refugees was Africa with the adoption of the Convention on the Specific Aspects of Refugees in 1969, but in Europe the ECHR also offers some protection. South Africa`s social protection system is one of the most comprehensive in the region. Its legal and effective coverage rates are higher than the regional average and comparable to, or even higher, than those of other BRICS countries. The overall nature of the scheme lies in the non-contributory monetary and non-contributory guarantees provided by the […] Human rights instruments are a testament to our latest understanding of what human dignity requires.

These instruments are likely to always fall behind because they respond to challenges that have already been recognized, rather than those that remain so institutionalized and entrenched in our societies that we still do not recognize them as rights and violations. Within the Council of Europe, the Organisation`s standard-setting work aims to propose new legal standards to the Committee of Ministers in order to respond to social measures aimed at solving problems which fall within their competence in member States with regard to issues. Such measures may include the proposal of new legal standards or the adaptation of existing standards. Thus, the procedures of the European Court of Human Rights are evolving to remain effective, how the provisions on the abolition of the death penalty have been adopted and how new instruments based on conventions such as the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, adopted in 2005, have been brought to light. With this in mind, human rights instruments will be revised and developed since time immemorial. Our understanding, our jurisprudence and, above all, our advocacy will continue to stimulate, attract and expand human rights. The fact that the provisions of human rights conventions and treaties are sometimes seen as inferior to what we sometimes expected should not be a reason to question what human rights represent as hope for humanity. Human rights laws often fall short of what human rights defenders expect, but they also remain their most reliable support. All human rights instruments contain guarantees of non-discrimination and equality, be they UN, Council of Europe, EU or OSCE standards.

At the United Nations level, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination entered into force in 1969 and is overseen by a group of experts, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Committee receives and considers reports from States on compliance with the Treaty, establishes an early warning procedure to avoid situations of intolerance that may escalate into conflicts and serious violations of the Convention, and a procedure for receiving individual complaints if authorized by the State concerned. The European Union`s Racial Directive, in turn, applies to the employment and provision of goods and services by the state and private actors. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is a mechanism of the Council of Europe. Founded in 1993, ECRI`s mission is to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance at the level of Europe as a whole and from the point of view of the protection of human rights. ECRI`s activities shall include all necessary measures to combat violence, discrimination and harm to which persons or groups of persons are subjected, in particular on grounds of their race, colour, language, religion, nationality and national or ethnic origin. EcRI members are appointed by their governments on the basis of their in-depth knowledge of the fight against intolerance. They are appointed in their personal capacity and act as independent members.

ECRI`s main programme of activities includes: As we can see above, international and regional instruments generally maintain the same minimum standards, but they may differ in their orientation or in highlighting regional concerns. For example, concerns about internally displaced persons in the African region were cited before the issue was really a United Nations responsibility; Similarly, the Mechanism for Visiting Detention Centres for the Prevention of Torture was first introduced at the European level before an Optional Protocol authorized the same mechanism under the United Nations Convention against Torture. These examples show how regional and international standards and mechanisms can improve the promotion and protection of human rights. Groups such as people with disabilities are also particularly protected because of their vulnerable position, which can make them more vulnerable to abuse. This is set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. At the international level, States have joined forces to draft certain human rights agreements. These agreements set objective standards of conduct for States and impose certain obligations on them towards individuals. They can be of two types: legally binding or non-binding.

A binding document, often referred to as a treaty, convention or covenant, represents a voluntary commitment by States to implement human rights at the national level. States individually undertake to be bound by these standards by ratification or accession (the mere signature of the document does not make it binding, although it represents a desire to facilitate this). States may make reservations or declarations in accordance with the 1979 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which exempts them from certain provisions of the document in order to persuade as many of them as possible to sign. After all, it is better to have a state that promises to comply with certain human rights regulations than nothing! However, this mechanism can sometimes be misused and used as a pretext to deny basic human rights, allowing a state to “escape” international control in certain areas. However, human rights have also permeated binding law at the national level.