Summary of Major Human Rights Documents


This page consists of a link to: Summaries of Major Themes of Select Major Human Rights Documents from Human Rights and Social Justice.  Although unofficial summaries I think that these summaries should provide the basic gist of those major documents.  I have chosen to xerox from Human Rights and Social Justice international conventions that the USA has not ratified: The Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR);  the Convention on the Rights of Children(CRC ); the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW); and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).  I included them because we have put pressure for lack of a better word, or perhaps one can say persuade the USA to ratify those documents.  Also copied are and select major important documents, the Genocide Convention and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Guiding Principles to Eradicate Extreme Poverty. (If quoting those summaries of documents please give proper referencing as shown below).
When reading the documents, please keep in mind that  conventions have the status of “treaty” in some countries, such as in the USA.  The US Constitution states in its Supremacy Clause, Article II that once a treaty is ratified it shall “become the law of the land… and the judges bound thereby.”  Thus, they must be implemented in the country’s domestic laws and policies.  When reading those themes, you may wish to think about whether your country is in accord with the documents’ principles.  Should your country not be in accord with the human rights principles, the question then becomes what to do with the information.  Sometimes merely showing government leaders the discrepancies between international human rights documents and domestic laws and policies is enough to “move” government officials and non-governmental organizations to do something.  In Massachusetts we had introduced a Human Rights Bill to examine how MA laws and policies pertain to fundamental human rights.  There are also some other select social actions suggested in this website. 

Suggested Reference:  Wronka, J. (2017). Human rights and social justice: Social action and service for the helping and health professions (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.

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