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HUMAN RIGHTS: A Basic Handbook for UN Staff
Ravi Chopra

HUMAN RIGHTS: A Basic Handbook for UN Staff

Ravi Chopra | 23-Jun-2016 |
Introduction , INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT , UNITED NATIONS ORGANS , HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS , UNITED NATIONS STRATEGIES AND ACTION TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS , OHCHR AND PARTNERS ,

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CONTENTS
List of useful abbreviations .........................................................................................vii
Diagram: UN human rights structure ..........................................................................ix
Foreword by the High Commissioner for Human Rights ...............................................xi
INTRODUCTION
1. United Nations Programme for Reform......................................................1
2. The scope of this handbook..........................................................................2
3. What are human rights? ..................................................................................2
4. International human rights law......................................................................3
5. State responsibility for human rights ............................................................5
6. What is humanitarian law?..............................................................................6
7. International human rights instruments.......................................................8
PART 1:
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS
AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT
1.1 The International Bill of Human Rights......................................................9
a. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.....................................10
b. International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights .........................................................................................11
c. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.........................12
1.2 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms
of Racial Discrimination ..............................................................................13
1.3 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women...............................................................................................14
1.4 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment.........................................................15
1.5 Convention on the Rights of the Child .....................................................16
1.6 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all
Migrant Workers and Members of their Families ....................................17
1.7 Declaration on the Right to Development ................................................18
iii
1.8 Landmark Human Rights Conferences......................................................21
a. Teheran World Conference on Human Rights – 1968 ......................21
b. Vienna World Conference on Human Rights – 1993........................22
PART 2:
UNITED NATIONS ORGANS
2.1 What is a charter-based organ?....................................................................24
2.2 The General Assembly..................................................................................25
a. Powers and functions..............................................................................25
b. Sessions .....................................................................................................25
2.3 The Economic and Social Council..............................................................26
a. Powers and functions..............................................................................26
b. Consultations with non-governmental organizations ........................26
c. Sessions .....................................................................................................27
d. Commissions of the Economic and Social Council ..........................27
1. Commission on Human Rights...........................................................27
1(a) The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of
Human Rights (formerly Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities)......................................29
2. Commission on the Status of Women .................................................30
2.4 The Security Council.....................................................................................31
a. Powers and functions powers ................................................................31
b. Human rights............................................................................................32
c. International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia....................32
d. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.......................................33
e. International Criminal Court .................................................................33
2.5 The International Court of Justice .............................................................34
2.6 The Secretariat of the United Nations.......................................................34
a. Organization.............................................................................................35
b. Powers and functions..............................................................................36
c. “Good Offices” .......................................................................................36
PART 3:
HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS
A. CONVENTIONAL MECHANISMS..................................................38
3.1 Treaty-Monitoring Bodies ............................................................................38
a. Overview of the conventional mechanisms........................................38
iv
b. Reporting procedure ...............................................................................39
c. Communications procedure for individual complaints .....................40
d. How to contact the committees............................................................40
3.2 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights .............................41
3.3 Human Rights Committee ...........................................................................42
3.4 Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of
Racial Discrimination ....................................................................................43
3.5 Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment.........................................................45
3.6 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women...............................................................................................46
3.7 Committee on the Rights of the Child ......................................................48
B. EXTRA-CONVENTIONAL MECHANISMS.................................49
3.8 Special procedures .........................................................................................49
a. Thematic and country mandates...........................................................49
b. The 1503 procedure ................................................................................52
PART 4:
UNITED NATIONS STRATEGIES AND ACTION
TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS
4.1 Integrating Human Rights into the work of the United Nations ..........55
a. Prevention action and early warning ....................................................55
b. Human rights and humanitarian operations........................................56
c. Human rights and peacekeeping ...........................................................57
d. Integration of human rights into development..................................58
4.2 United Nations Technical Cooperation Programme................................59
a. Technical cooperation in the field of human rights...........................59
b. How to access assistance ........................................................................60
c. Various technical cooperation activities ...............................................60
4.3 Human Rights Education and Campaigns.................................................66
a. World Public Information Campaign on Human Rights ..................66
b. Decade for Human Rights Education..................................................67
c. Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination......................68
4.4 Human Rights Monitoring ...........................................................................69
4.5 Working with civil society.............................................................................70
a. NGOs and ECOSOC.............................................................................70
v
b. Indigenous Peoples .................................................................................71
c. Minorities ..................................................................................................73
d. Support for victims of torture ..............................................................74
e. Support for victims of contemporary forms of slavery ...................75
f. Private sector ............................................................................................75
4.6 United Nations Human Rights Publications .............................................76
a. OHCHR Human Rights Fact Sheets....................................................77
b. Professional Training Series ...................................................................79
c. Human Rights Studies Series .................................................................79
d. OHCHR ad hoc publications ................................................................80
e. Publications for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Basic information kits ....82
f. Reference material ...................................................................................82
PART 5:
OHCHR AND PARTNERS
5.1 The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights....................83
a. The High Commissioner........................................................................83
b. OHCHR in Geneva.................................................................................85
c. The New York Office.............................................................................88
d. Field Presence ..........................................................................................88
5.2 United Nations Partners ...............................................................................90

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