What would be required for successful direct protection of human rights? The authority to command violating parties to do otherwise? The ability to enforce such a command? Overwhelming political pressure directed against human rights violations to the exclusion of other interests? No United Nations human rights body has such authority and power.
The United Nations‘ primary raison d‘etre in the human rights field as acted upon by the Human Rights Committee is long-term. It may be that the sum total of UN activity in this field is supposed to socialize or educate actors into changing their views and policies on human rights over time toward a cosmopolitan human rights standard as defined by United Nations instruments. Conversely one can say that the entirety of UN human rights activity is to dispense or withhold a stamp of legitimacy on member states according to their human rights record. It can be persuasively argued that in some cases a ruling regime lost ground in its struggle for legitimacy in the eyes of important actors because of violations of aforementioned rights. The United Nations‘ definition of human rights probably contributed to the process.
At some point, socialization and manipulation of legitimacy must directly change specific behaviour and must lead to direct protection by some actor. In a few situations this linkage can already be demonstrated. In the case of Filartiga v. Peña Irala in the United States, a federal court held torture to be prohibited by customary international law, using United
Nations instruments and actions as part of its reasoning. ―Once a tort can be considered to be in violation of the law of nations, Sec. 1350 allows immediate access to a federal court.… It is now generally accepted by the United States and the vast majority of other member nations of the United Nations that gross violations of human rights are, as a matter of
international law, a legitimate concern of the world community.‖ This case opened the possibility of express prosecution of torturers of any nationality who appear in the jurisdiction of the United States. Other courts in the U.S. have also used United Nations instruments and activities as part of their decisions, and other states beyond the U.S. show some influence from UN instruments in their legal and administrative decisions. The 1998 Pinochet extradition case in London, described by Human Rights Watch as a ―wake-up call‖ to tyrants
everywhere, was decided on the basis that both Britain and Chile had ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture.
1. According to various points made by the author of the passage, all of the following are ways in which the UN can exert influence over human rights EXCEPT:
A. by persuading member states to change certain laws to avoid human rights violations.
B. by enforcing a UN command to cease any behaviour that does not adhere to UN standards.
C. by recognizing certain countries based on their human rights record.
D. by affecting the legal and political policies of member states.
E. by providing a stamp of legitimacy to some member countries
2. The passage suggests that the author would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
A. The UN has done little to affect the protection and establishment of human rights.
B. Human rights violations should be the primary concern of the UN.
C. International policies can be influenced by UN activities and proclamations.
D. Future human rights court cases may turn to UN policies for assistance.
E. The UN needs to be given military powers
3. The author mentions the case of Filartiga v. Peña Irala primarily in order to:
A. describe United Nations human rights activity that led to direct protection by an actor.
B. demonstrate the dangers of the UN‘s concentration on long-term effects.
C. provide evidence that torture is prohibited by international law.
D. cite a case in which the UN withheld legitimacy from a target state.
E. cite a case wherein UN intervention proved futile
4. Regardless of what the rest of the passage might be arguing, the author‘s principal concern in the first paragraph is most likely to:
A. propose changes that would increase UN effectiveness in enforcing human rights.
B. indicate indirectly the shortfalls of UN human rights activity concerned with short-term change.
C. explain the UN‘s function in the field of human rights by giving examples.
D. describe the major activity of the UN in the field of human rights
E. to praise the policies of the United Nations
What is the break down of this passage? What is the 1st , 2nd and 3rd para talking about ? I am having diffculty creating a passage map or outline the ideas...
Here is what I have understood please correct me :
Para 1 :Questions UN power and says UN doesnt have too much power to protect human rights
Para 2 : No idea what this para is trying to convey...All i got is "UN exists since long term and its duties are blah blah blah "
not sure even if that is correct
Para 3:Torchure is prohibited by UN and talks more about torture and its consequesnces...dont know what in detail and have a hard time understanding...
Also, what is this ACTOR term ??? what does ACTOR mean?
How do you approach these questions? I am lost in all the questions ...