The United Nations Treaty-based Human Rights System and 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 United Nations Treaty-based Human Rights System and Africa

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Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948, seven major human rights treaties have been adopted under UN auspices. The first, adopted in 1965, is the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Soon after, in 1966, it was followed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The international human rights regime was further supplemented by human rights treaties with a focus on specific groups or themes: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); and most recently by the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW). Each of these treaties, with the exception of the ICESCR, establishes a treaty-monitoring body (or ‘committee’) in the form of a supervisory quasi-judicial institution. This chapter discusses the role in and importance to Africa of these seven treaties and their monitoring mechanisms.

Keywords: international treaties; Africa; human rights

Chapter.  31167 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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