Can International Law Successfully Enforce Human Rights?

The International Organizations and International Law serve on regulating the relations between sovereign nations. International organizations, such as UN, have throughout the 20th century tried to establish general, necessary and acceptable legal standards.  My purpose is to point out the importance of the International Organizations, to name them, to emphasize on the individual roles that they play towards applying the human rights in the whole world and to find an answer to my question. It is debatable whether international law can successfully enforce human rights and if the use of necessary force should be authorized.


Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash


Basic human rights, such as the right to live, are universally recognized, which means they apply to every human beings, in all nations, independent of the nations` legal traditions. Nonetheless, the ideals behind the human rights still prove increasingly difficult and highly problematic in many countries. The most common human rights violations next to the government-sanctioned murders and torture, is the oppression of ethnic or religious minorities. The opportunities of the UN are therefore limited, because many nations do not, in principle, accept any limitations on national sovereignty. Internal political interests or long-lasting debates often frustrate and slow attempts to sanction nations that violate human rights.


UN demanded an agreement in the protection of refugees, but not every country adheres to this policy. There are international institutions and organizations that try to fight the human rights. These are: The European Congress of Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, etc. A group of nations can, for example, attempt to impose a trade embargo in order to isolate the country, but human rights violations remain difficult to punish or charge through international organizations.


Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash



Works Cited:


Chapman, Terrence L. “Audience Beliefs And International Organization Legitimacy.” International Organization 63.4 (2009): 733-764. Business Source Elite. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.

Ho Mun, Chan. “Rawls’ Theory Of Justice: A Naturalistic Evaluation 1.” Journal Of Medicine & Philosophy 30.5 (2005): 449-465. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.

Huyssen, Andreas. “International Human Rights And The Politics Of Memory : Limits And Challenges.” Criticism 53.4 (2011): 607-624. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.

Pillay, Navanethem. “Right to Health and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The Lancet 372.9655 (2008): 2005-6. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 21 Sep. 2012.

Tolley, Jr., Howard. “Interest Group Litigation To Enforce Human Rights.” Political Science Quarterly 105.4 (1990): 617. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.

Vinnicombe, Thea. “Thomas Hobbes and the Displacement of Political Philosophy.” International Journal of Social Economics 32.8 (2005): 667-81. ABI/INFORM Global; ProQuest Criminal Justice. Web. 21 Sep. 2012.




Catalina Magee

Founder / Owner of Trend Prive Magazine. Romanian-born American, "seasoned" in Italy, "cooked" in Germany and currently serving in Israel. NCIS Special Agent in Charge EA.

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