Human Rights in International Treaties

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| Copyright Dominique Clément / Clément Consulting

A list of international human rights treaties, including a list of those rights listed in some of the key treaties. For a more detailed list of UN Human Rights Treaties as well as a valuable resource on Canada’s international human rights obligations, visit Canada’s Human Rights Commitments.

 

Council of Europe Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1998

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979

Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1959

Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons 1975

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966

International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and

Members of Their Families 1990

International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced

Disappearance 2006

UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1963

United States Bill of Rights 1791

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

 

 

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

Equality regardless of race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin

  • Right to equal treatment before tribunals
  • Right to security of person
  • Right to effective protection and remedies
  • Political rights
  • Civil rights
    • Right to freedom of movement and residence
    • Right to leave any country and return to one’s own
    • Right to nationality
    • Right to marriage and choice of spouse
    • Right to own property
    • Right to inherit
    • Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
    • Right to freedom of opinion and expression
    • Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
  • Economic, social, and cultural rights
    • Right to form and join trade unions
    • Right to housing
    • Right to public health, medical care, social security, and social services
    • Right to education and training
    • Right to equal participation in cultural activities
    • Right of access to any public place or service

Freedom from racial segregation

Prohibition of racist propaganda and organizations

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

• Right of self-determination
• Freedom to dispose of own wealth and resources
• No deprivation of own means of subsistence
• Inherent right to life
• Restrictions and rights for anyone sentenced to death
• Freedom of expression
• General gender equality clause
• Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
• Prohibition of arbitrary arrest and detention
• Right to assembly
• Right to privacy of the home
• Right to association
• Right to privacy of communication
• Freedom of movement
• Equal enjoyment of civil and political rights regardless of gender
• Right of access to court and tribunals (habeas corpus)
• Prohibition of torture
• Right to vote
• Prohibition of ex post facto laws
• Freedom to choose residence
• Freedom to leave any country
• Rights of lawful alien in face of expulsion
• Right not to be expelled from home territory
• Equality regardless of race
• Right to present a defense
• Right to form trade unions
• Right to counsel
• Right to public trial
• Right to review by a higher tribunal
• Presumption of innocence until proven guilty
• Rights regarding trial preparation
• Freedom from forced testimony or confession of guilt
• Right to establish a family
• Prohibition of slavery
• Freedom from forced labor
• Right to liberty and security of person
• Rights of arrested person
• Rights for children
• Right to a remedy when rights are violated
• Right to personal privacy
• Prohibition of double jeopardy
• Equality regardless of belief/philosophy
• Right to remain silent
• Right to a timely trial
• Equality regardless of political opinion
• Right to an interpreter
• Equality regardless of language
• Right to ‘fair trial’
• Right to work for the government
• Right to privacy of family life
• Minority cultural rights
• Right to protection of one’s reputation or honor
• Equality husband and wife within the family
• Right to appeal to higher court
• Equality regardless of economic status
• Equality regardless of nationality
• Rights for prisoners

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

• Right of self-determination
• General gender equality clause
• Right to education
• Right to a fair wage
• Right to work
• Right to highest mental and physical health
• Equality in employment promotion
• Right to form and join trade unions
• Right to establish a family
• Right to social security
• Right to protection and assistance to the family
• Right to culture
• Artistic freedom
• Right to rest and leisure
• Right to housing
• Right to favorable working conditions
• Right to protection of intellectual property
• Right to strike
• Right to adequate standard of living
• Women’s empowerment in labor relations
• Right to maternity leave
• Prohibition of child labor
• Right to food
• Right to take part in cultural life
• Right to enjoy scientific progress

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

Legislative equality regardless of gender

Equality for women in political and public life

Prohibition of trafficking and prostitution of women

Equality of the husband and wife in marriage and family relations

  • Same right to enter into marriage
  • Same right to freedom in choosing a spouse and entering into marriage
  • Same rights and responsibilities
  • Same rights with regards to their children
  • Same personal rights as husband and wife
  • Same rights with regards to property

Right to acquire, change, or retain nationality

Equality for women in the field of education

Equality for women in the field of employment

  • Right to safe working conditions
  • Right to social security
  • Women’s empowerment in labor relations
  • Right to maternity leave
  • Right to social services such as child-care facilities
  • Special protection during pregnancy

Equality for women in the field of health care

Equality for women in rural areas

 

  • Right to participate in development planning
  • Right to health care
  • Right to benefit from social security programs
  • Right to training and education
  • Right to self-help groups and co-operatives
  • Right to participate in community activities
  • Right to adequate living conditions

 

Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

Prohibition of torture

Protection from extradition to another State where danger of torture
exists

Rights while in custody for alleged offense
• Right to communicate with appropriate representative
• Right to have national State immediately notified of the custody
• Fair treatment in proceedings

Prompt and impartial investigation of an alleged act of torture

Rights for complainants and victims of torture
• Right to complain about act of torture
• Right to protection
• Right to fair and adequate compensation

Prohibition regarding statements made as a result of torture

Prohibition of other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or
punishment

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Rights for Children

Inherent right to life
• Right to a name and nationality
• Right to know and be cared for by parents
• Right to preservation of identity
• No separation from parents against child’s will
• Protection from illicit transfer abroad and non-return
• Freedom of expression
• Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
• Freedom of association and of peaceful assembly
• Right to privacy
• Freedom from attacks on honor and reputation
• Access to mass media information and materials
• Right to physical and mental protection
• Right to humanitarian assistance
• Right to good health
• Right to social security
• Right to an adequate standard of living
• Right to education
• Right to rest and leisure
• Protection from harmful employment
• Protection from illicit use of drugs
• Protection from use of children in drug trafficking
• Protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
• Protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment
• Protection from abduction, sale, and trafficking
• Protection from all other forms of exploitation
• Protection from capital punishment and life imprisonment
• Protection of children in armed conflicts

Prohibition of child labor

Best interests of the child as the primary consideration

Rights and duties of parents are respected

Rights for disabled children

Rights for minority children to enjoy own culture

Rights of children deprived of liberty

Rights of children accused of infringing penal law

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMC)

Equality for all migrant workers and their families

  • Free to leave any State
  • Right to enter and remain in their State of origin
  • Right to life
  • Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment/punishment
  • Freedom from slavery
  • Freedom from forced labor
  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
  • Right to opinions
  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to privacy
  • Freedom from unlawful attacks on honor and reputation
  • Freedom from arbitrary deprivation of property
  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to protection
  • Freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • Equal rights as nationals
  • Freedom from confiscation or destroying of legal documents
  • Freedom from collective expulsion
  • Right to protection and assistance by their State of origin
  • Right to recognition as a person
  • Rights regarding employment
    • Equal treatment and benefits as nationals
    • Rights to form or join trade unions
    • Rights to social security
    • Right freely to choose remunerated activity
  • Rights to medical care
  • Rights of child
    • Right to a name, registration of birth, and a nationality
    • Right to education
    • Right to learn mother tongue and culture
  • Right to a cultural identity
  • Rights upon termination of stay
  • Right to be informed
  • Right to liberty of movement
  • Freedom to choose residence
  • Right to participate in public affairs of State of origin
  • Right to political rights in State of employment, if granted
  • Equal treatment with nationals of State of employment
  • Protection of unity of family
  • Equality in accessing education
  • Equality in accessing social and health services
  • Equality in participating in cultural life
  • Rights regarding taxes
  • Rights for family of deceased migrant worked or dissolution of marriage

Rights for arrested migrant workers and their families

  • Right to be informed about arrest in own language
  • Right to trial or release
  • Own State shall be notified of the detention
  • Right to communicate and meet with authorities in the own State
  • Right to a court trial
  • Victims of unlawful arrest or detention have the right to compensation
  • Right to be treated with humanity
  • Equal rights as nationals

Rights for accused migrant workers and their families

  • Right to be separated from convicted persons
  • Rights for juvenile persons to be separated from adults
  • Right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • Rights in the determination of criminal charges
  • Right to be reviewed by a higher tribunal

Freedom from imprisonment for failing to fulfill a contractual obligation

Rights for expelled migrant workers and their families

Rights for frontier workers

Rights for seasonal workers

Rights for itinerant workers

Rights for project-tied workers

Rights for specified-employment workers

Rights for self-employment workers

Rights regarding international migration

  • Rights to sound, equitable, humane, and lawful conditions
  • Rights to services to deal with questions
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (CRC-OP (Armed Conflict))

Prohibition of armed forces members aged

Prohibition of children aged

Special protection for persons aged <18

Armed groups prohibited from recruiting or using in hostilities persons aged <18

Rights of the child in more protective laws are unaffected

Assistance to victims of acts contrary to this Protocol

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (CRC-OP (Sale of Children/Prostitution/Pornography))

Prohibition of the sale of children, child prostitution, and child
pornography

Rights of child victims
• Right to recognition of vulnerability
• Right to adapted procedures to address special needs
• Right to be informed of the proceedings and the disposition
• Right to have views, needs, and concerns presented and considered
• Right to support services
• Right to privacy and identity
• Right to safety
• Right to avoid unnecessary delay in the proceedings
• Assistance in recovery
• Access to procedures to seek compensation for damages

Best interests of the child is the primary consideration

Rights of the child in more protective laws are unaffected

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Rights for the disabled
• Equal protection and benefit of the law
• Recognition of women and girls with disabilities
• Recognition of children with disabilities
• Access to public services facilities
• Right to life
• Right to protection in situations of risk
• Access to justice
• Right to liberty and security
• Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment/
punishment
• Freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse
• Right to respect for physical and mental integrity
• Right to liberty of movement and nationality
• Right to live independently
• Right to be included in the community
• Right to personal mobility
• Freedom of expression and opinion
• Access to information
• Right to privacy
• Respect for home and the family
• Right to education
• Right to good health
• Access to habilitation and rehabilitation services and programs
• Right to work
• Right to an adequate standard of living
• Right to social protection
• Freedom to participate in political and public life
• Freedom to participate in cultural life, recreation, leisure, and sport

International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED)

Protection from enforced disappearance

Rights for individual who alleges enforced disappearance
• Right to report facts to authorities
• Right to protection

Protection from extradition to another State where danger of enforced disappearance exists

No secret detention

Right to information on deprivation of liberty

Right to privacy of personal information

Rights for victims of enforced disappearance
• Right to the truth
• Right to reparation and compensation

Right to form and participate in organizations that address enforced disappearance

 

[credit: Eric A. Posner, The Twilight of Human Rights Law]