The Role of United Nations Organs and Agencies in Realizing Human Rights in Africa

Frans Viljoen

in International Human Rights Law in Africa

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199218585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696107 | DOI:
The Role of United Nations Organs and Agencies in Realizing Human Rights in Africa

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The gravitational pull of international human rights grew ever stronger towards the end of the last century, as globalization increasingly accentuated the common causes of humanity, and neo-liberal ideologies positioned themselves in an apparently unassailable hegemony. Significant advances have been made since World War II in expanding the normative reach of international human rights law. However, over the last decade attention has shifted to the implementation of human rights norms, the development of more secure safety nets, and to a critical appraisal of the impact of the norms. This chapter assesses the multiple layers constituting the ‘gravitational pull’ and the ‘safety nets’ provided by United Nations (UN) organs and agencies, with specific reference to their role in and effect on human rights in African countries. The increasingly important role in the protection of human rights of the UN specialized financial agencies (the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) and of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is then discussed, with specific attention again devoted to Africa.

Keywords: African countries; human rights; United States; protection

Chapter.  21781 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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