International human rights law (IHRL) is the body of international law designed to promote human rights on social, regional, and domestic levels. As a form of international law, international human rights law are primarily made up of treaties, agreements between sovereign states intended to have binding legal effect between the parties that have agreed to them; and customary international law. Other international human rights instruments, while not legally binding, contribute to the implementation, understanding and development of international human rights law and have been recognized as a source of political obligation.

The relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law is disputed among international law scholars. This discussion forms part of a larger discussion on fragmentation of international law. While pluralist scholars conceive international human rights law as being distinct from international humanitarian law, proponents of the constitutionalist approach regard the latter as a subset of the former. In a nutshell, those who favors separate, self-contained regimes emphasize the differences in applicability; international humanitarian law applies only during armed conflict.

A more systemic perspective explains that international humanitarian law represents a function of international human rights law; it includes general norms that apply to everyone at all time as well as specialized norms which apply to certain situations such as armed conflict between both state and military occupation (i.e. IHL) or to certain groups of people including refugees (e.g. the 1951 Refugee Convention), children (the Convention on the Rights of the Child), and prisoners of war (the 1949 Third Geneva Convention).


Global Human Rights Instrument Collection

There are many universal instruments relating to human rights. The legal status of these instruments varies: declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules and recommendations have no binding legal effect, but such instruments have an undeniable moral force and provide practical guidance to States in their conduct; covenants, statutes, protocols and conventions are legally-binding for those States that ratify or accede to them. In this work, an overview of universal human rights Instruments is created.

This Collection aims to provide the reader with a legal resource that is easy to use yet complete and detailed. In the following volumes, continental human rights instruments will be discussed as well. Also the enforcement of human rights by international courts and tribunals will be researched and published.  Human rights are rights that apply to every human being in the world, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.

These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. This makes them subject to many regulations and laws in national and international contexts. It is not easy to create an overview of peoples’ human rights, since they are extensively covered in treaties, declarations, guidelines, principles and other international legal texts. However, for many people, human rights are their last resort. In areas of constant conflict, such as in parts of Africa, due to absence of a functioning national legal system, human rights serve as a last resort for the possibility of legal retaliation for many people. Human rights are inalienable. They should not be taken away, except in specific situations and according to due process.

For example, the right to liberty may be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law.

This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems. All States have ratified at least one, and 80% of States have ratified four or more, of the core human rights treaties, reflecting consent of States which creates legal obligations for them and giving concrete expression to universality. Some fundamental human rights norms enjoy universal protection by customary international law across all boundaries and civilizations.


Volume Title
Volume 1 Universal Human Rights Instruments part 1
Volume 2 Universal Human Rights Instruments part 2
Volume 3 Universal Human Rights Instruments part 3
Volume 4 Inter-American Human Rights Instruments Part 1
Volume 5 Inter-American Human Rights Instruments Part 2
Volume 6 Inter-American Human Rights Instruments Part 3
Volume 7 The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Basic Documents
Volume 8 Compendium Of Bilateral And Regional Instruments For South Asia Related To Human Rights And Terrorism Volume 1
Volume 9 Compendium Of Bilateral And Regional Instruments For South Asia Related To Human Rights And Terrorism Volume 2
Volume 10 Compendium Of Bilateral And Regional Instruments For South Asia Related To Human Rights And Terrorism Volume 3
Volume 11 Compendium Of Bilateral And Regional Instruments For South Asia Related To Human Rights And Terrorism Volume 4

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Other series:

Recent publications:

Human Rights Elephants in an Era of Globalisation

Commodification, Crimmigration, and Human Rights in Confinement

P. van Berlo
ISBN 978 94 6240 565 3


Although human rights have been heralded as the great hope for contemporary pursuits of equality and justice, they are increasingly challenged by present-day globalisation developments. This includes the outsourcing of control to private actors and third states as well as the redrawing of membership categories through ‘crimmigration’ strategies. Looking at migration detention and imprisonment, this book examines to what extent human rights can remain of relevance as a protection framework where such globalisation trends occur.

It does so, inter alia, by focusing on macro-level developments as well as on two case studies concerning Australia/Nauru and Norway/the Netherlands. Likening human rights to elephants, both being majestic yet critically endangered, the book argues that an interdisciplinary approach to human rights is long-overdue. Based on analys is of globalisation developments and the veracity and resilience of international human rights law instruments, including the ECHR and ICCPR, it presents an innovative multidimensional framework of protection that incorporates not only the value of human rights law, but also that of human rights morality, protest, and discourse. The book therewith positions human rights analysis squarely at the crossroads of law and social science, giving rise to both hope and concern for the future of the human rights project.

Background to the crisis in Syria and perspectives on human rights & humanitarian law violations

Yana Ballod
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462402744

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, in mid-March 2011, the context in which it is regarded has been constantly changing. Four years later, the escalating violent armed conflict, fired from the “Arab Spring” movement has led to the rise of terrorist groups and a huge wave of refugees fleeing from the country.

The present publication addresses the developments before 2011, as well as between mid-March 2011 and July 2015. It provides the factual background to the crisis and its analysis within the scope of humanitarian and human rights law. This volume is useful for understanding the roots of the crisis and its circumstances before summer 2015.

A detailed research on what has happened and is happening in Syria brings up numerous unsolved issues within the international community. International law provides several possibilities for conflict resolution and stabilising crises: timely and effective response of international community represented by United Nations and its agencies, in particular United Nations Security Council; enforcement of the responsibility to protect; imposing sanctions; bringing to international justice and internationally addressing elements of the crisis, e. g. terrorism. However, with the involvement of different international actors, the implementation of international law depends on the particular behaviour of each of them. This way even erga omnes norms become voluntary.

In the case of Syria, the application of international law instruments has been accompanied by hesitation. Cross-regional, regional and internal tensions prevented international community from shaping a coherent and decisive response to mass atrocities taking place in Syria. Thus, this research questions the existing system of leverages and sets an ambitious goal of finding out how to change it.



Human Rights in a Global World

Essays in Honour of Luis Lopez Guerra

Editors: Carmen Morte Gomez / Iulia Motoc
ISBN: 9789462404298


The mandate of Luis López Guerra as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights is coming to an end.

On the occasion of his departure, his colleagues and friends wish to pay tribute to the exceptional work he has accomplished during his ten-year tenure at the Court. In his duties, he distinguished himself in the dissemination of the fundamental rights and freedoms protected by the Convention and he was acknowledged for his humanist approach to European litigation.

After completing prestigious studies in law and political science in Madrid and Michigan, he was lecturer in constitutional law and then judge to the Spanish Constitutional Court, as well as Secretary of State for Justice. He was also an expert in numerous institutions, notably the Venice Commission, and Director of the Institute of Comparative Public Law in Madrid.

Elected as a judge of the Court in 2008, he was subsequently appointed by his peers as Vice-president and later President of the third Section of the Court.

During his mandate, he participated in the spread of the Court in Europe and throughout the world through his work in the Court and his numerous conferences and articles, particularly on issues relating to justice and European integration. This work compiles numerous original works dealing with various topical subjects, written by judges of the Court, international and national judges, academics and members of the registry of the Court.

Through this Liber amicorum, they wish to show all their friendship and recognition.

N. Pushparajah
Pages: 334 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 09-2016
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403291

Product Description

This book explores the human rights obligations of armed non-state actors in non-international armed conflicts from the existing sources. This book seriously challenges the Statecentric view of human rights by breaking the traditional perception of international human rights regime that applies only to State actors. This book shows the necessity in considering the capacity of de facto regimes of armed non-state actors to incur human rights obligations in order to protect individuals and groups, and regulate their daily lives in the control areas of these armed non-state actors. Further, this book proves the capacity of armed non-state actors for violating human rights as well as bearing human rights obligations in non-international armed conflicts. The degree of human rights obligations of armed non-state actors, especially regarding civil and political rights, as well as obligations towards some vulnerable groups, has been confirmed in this book. Nevertheless it is very difficult to impose human rights obligations on armed nonstate actors without relying on other international norms such as international humanitarian law and international criminal law in non-international armed conflicts since these bodies of law give more detailed provisions to regulate the specific issue. In addition, the success of the fulfilment of obligations in international norms by armed non-state actors mostly depends on their capacity, willingness and intentions, including the ideology of a specific group.



Beyond the Link
André T. D. Figueiredo
Pages: 114 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 04-2017
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403802

Product Description


Some scholars and even human rights monitoring bodies have started to make the connection between corruption and human rights violations. When asked about this connection, most people easily picture a country ruled by a dictator who steals public money to support his luxury life while the population suffers from the lack of essential public services, such as healthcare and education. The connection in itself is appealing. Nonetheless, sometimes this connection is made without the proper concern for fully developing the argument and its consequences.

The purpose of this study is to go beyond this appealing link and to clarify the argument that making an explicit link with human rights has indeed added value. Framing corruption as a human rights violation cannot be an end in itself, a pure exercise of relabeling the problem. This study aims to give a practical significance to the connection by addressing, in a non-exhaustive way, the practical value of framing corruption as a human rights violation and the possibilities in which international human rights law can be used to strengthen the fight against corruption. By doing so, this book also presents how UN human rights bodies are referring to corruption, and how they could contribute more to fighting this global problem.

This book is an adapted version of the author's LL.M. thesis presented at Radboud University in June 2016,where he graduated cum laude after being the recipient of a scholarship.


A Legal and Ethical Necessity
Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli
Pages: 458 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 06-2017
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403888

Product Description


In this book, addressing the reality that non-state actors do violate human rights in practice, which cannot be overlooked, Prof. Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli argues that the foundations and main principles of international human rights law call for the regulation of direct nonstate obligations and responsibilities, given the potential failure of domestic actions and the limits of voluntary strategies. In part I, the author presents his ideas on why non-state abuses should be regarded as human rights violations and wrongful acts. In this sense, Chapter 1 explores why the protection of human dignity, being non-conditional, cannot depend on the presence of a State abuser. Chapter 2 explores the idea that every conduct contrary to human rights has legal relevance and requires a correlative appropriate legal response. Chapter 3 reinforces the previous ideas in light of the peremptory principle of non-discrimination; with Chapter 4 providing suggestions on when direct international action should take place. Part II, afterwards, studies why direct protection from non-state violations is possible and what legal mechanisms and institutions permit to make it effective. In Chapter 5, the author argues that the notion of international legal personality is not an obstacle since regarding addressees as subjects highlights the possibility of there being direct non-state international duties, which would not weaken existing human rights protections. Chapter 6 presents the argument that there are already implied human rights obligations of non-state actors, and that complementary obligations should be created. Chapter 7 explores the idea that non-state responsibility can coexist with that of other participants in violations, and that non-state responsibility is often a precondition of full reparations. The fi nal Chapter turns to the examination of the mechanisms that can be used to respond to or prevent non-state violations of human rights law. The book is based on the idea that the protagonists of human rights law are individuals, who deserve protection from all abusers, be them States, armed groups, international organizations, or other actors.


Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli has a PhD in International Law and International Relations from the Autónoma de Madrid University and is currently Associate Professor of International Law at La Sabana University, Colombia.


A jurisprudential interpretation

February 2017
518 pages
Charles Alenga Khamala
ISBN: 9789462403628

In 2012, the International Criminal Court confirmed trials against four suspects for bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity perpetrated during Kenya's post-2007 election violence. In 2016, however, the Office of the Prosecutor withdrew all charges, decrying intolerable interference and political meddling in Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang's cases. In President Uhuru Kenyatta's case, the Court ultimately referred the government to the Assembly of State Parties for failing to cooperate with her investigations. The decision to prosecute has sparked outcry from some African countries, not only because the evidence is thin, or even since the suspects are senior leaders enjoying political power, but alleging selective justice. Suspects from strong Western countries tend to be overlooked. This book evaluates the ICC's controversial decisions conferring its jurisdiction over the situation in Kenya, confirming the charges and even compelling unwilling witnesses to appear and testify. It is true that in 1999 Kenya ratified the Rome Statute through which the international community seeks to promote retributive justice to hold leaders accountable and punish mass atrocities. However, in the context of transitional justice, domestic authorities preferred to respond to the alleged mass atrocities through structural reforms. Indeed, two ICC indictees, Kenyatta and Ruto won the 2013 presidential elections, indicating that the local public lacks confidence in the Hague process. From a practitioner's perspective, this book demonstrates the sociopolitical, cultural and contextual background which caused the ICC's legitimacy crisis. It is a must read for international criminal lawyers, policymakers, scholars, and other stakeholders.
Dr. Charles Alenga Khamala, Ph.D. (UPPA), LL.M. (London) and LL.B. (Nairobi) was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rhodes University, 2016 and KU Leuven Visiting Scholar, 2018. Having commenced at Kabarak University, he is currently a Senior Lecturer at Africa Nazarene University Law School, while practising as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, is on the List of Counsel of the ICC, UNMICT, ACHPR, ICCBA, ADC-ICT, ILA, ICJ (K), WSV, LSK, EALS; alumni of AFRAKEN and Chevening (K).

M. Papandreou
Pages: 300 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 09-2016
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403277

Product Description


Poverty is a serious violation of human rights; this has been reiterated in numerous, national and international, documents and studies. The impact of poverty on the enjoyment of human rights has been explored extensively, and several commitments to eradicate poverty through promotion and protection of all human rights have been undertaken at a national, regional and international level.

There is however a question that has not been answered clearly and explicitly, and this is precisely the question that the author of this book attempts to answer, namely whether or not at this time it is possible to shift from the idea of poverty being a violation of various human rights to the idea of freedom from poverty being a distinct and separate new human right, which could simply be called “the right not to be poor”.

The author examines whether or not those mainly responsible for dealing with poverty at a global and domestic level, namely international organisations and national states, have slowly but clearly moved from perceiving poverty as a violation of a number of rights to recognising a human right not to be poor. In this book the author illustrates how international organisations and national states very often decide on and implement policies, adopt legislation or create case law, based on a firm belief that people have the right to be protected against poverty. The author attempts to elucidate the nature of the right not to be poor and its possible sources and theoretical foundations, and shed light on several interesting aspects of its implementation at a national and international level. 


Jernej Letnar Černič, Tara Van Ho (eds.)
Pages: 550 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 03-2015
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462402072

Product Description

The global business environment has changed rapidly in the past decades, but the human rights and business discourse has often lagged behind. At the international level, hard law regulations still seem decades away. United Nations initiatives such as the Guiding Principles and the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises are more than a step in the right direction. However, they alone are insufficient to prevent violations and ensure victims receive justice. This edited book uses a broad and pluralistic understanding of direct human rights obligations, concentrating on legally enforceable standards. The enforceability can come directly from international law, through national legislation, or through non-state actors. The contributions engage both with the law as it is as well as the law as it needs to be developed. In doing so, the book challenges the current reticence to recognise direct human rights obligations of corporations by highlighting the various tools already available for remedying corporate human rights impacts while pushing for the development of further mechanisms.

This book and its contributors have followed pluralistic approaches to human rights and business. The book builds on existing literature, but also offers a unique contribution by considering the effectiveness and availability of current mechanisms as well as discussing gaps in the existing framework for human rights protection. The approach in this book allows for a clearer understanding of the global human rights framework, and the manner in which voluntary and binding initiatives can reinforce one another.

By weaving together analysis on the current standards and practices with critical approaches, this book allows scholars and practitioners to capture the complexity of holding businesses accountable for their human rights impacts.

Jernej Letnar Černič is an Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law at the Graduate School of Government and European Studies (Kranj, Slovenia), where he serves as a Vice-Dean. Tara Van Ho is a Project Associate with the Essex Business & Human Rights Project and a member of the Essex Transitional Justice Network.

The legal consciousness of Panamanian Ngäbe children migrating to Costa Rica for the coffee harvest and the vernacularization of the UN CRC
Carrie van der Kroon
Pages: 214 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 09-2015
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462402584

Product Description

Alejandro (9 years) goes to school half days and otherwise “plays” on the finca, the coffee plantation. He points towards his older sisters: “They cannot read and do not go to school.” Libia (14 years), also a sibling, explains: “They harvest coffee instead.”

Thousands of Panamanians of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé peoples travel every year to Costa Rica to harvest coffee, mostly temporarily. They come from difficult circumstances: over ninety per cent of this group in Panama lives in extreme poverty. A majority of the migratory children (of all ages) work on the coffee fields.

This book sheds light on the world of indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé children, migrating and working from Panama on the Costa Rican coffee fields. It demonstrates and describes their experiences. All children agree that Costa Rica is beautiful, preti, as they say. Simultaneously they speak of violence, fears and deprivations. These children are both vulnerable and resilient. Their ideas do not always coincide with adult professionals or international human rights law.

“I write with the right” illustrates children’s consciousness of internationally codified rights and the reality on the ground. It furthermore demonstrates what actors and factors influence their realities and its implications for international human rights law, policies and legal theory.


Indigenous Rights, Land rights and Mining in the Upper Mazaruni

A report by Upper Mazaruni Amerindian District Council, Amerindian Peoples Association of Guyana, Forest Peoples Programme.
Global Law Association
ISBN (softcover) : 9789056440299

Human Rights and HIV/AIDS

selected documents
W. van der Wolf, C. Tofan, D. de Ruiter (eds.)
ISBN (softcover) : 9789058870483

Bringing a case to the European Court of Human Rights
A practical guide on admissibility criteria
With a foreword by Dean Spielmann
ISBN: 9789462401990

Digital Evidence Changing the Paradigm of Human Rights Protection
Salvatore di Cerbo
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403048

Caught in Between Borders 

Citizens, Migrants and Humans. Liber Amicorum in Honour of prof. dr. Elspeth Guild. Paul Minderhoud, Sandra Mantu & Karin Zwaan (eds)

ISBN (hardcover) : 9789462405509

The Intra Corporate Transferee Directive 

Central Themes, Problem Issues and Implementation in Selected Member States
Paul Minderhoud & Tesseltje de Lange (eds)
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462404786

Children’s Rights in a Digital Environment and European Union Law
J. Auer
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462403154

Jack and the Solemn Promise
A cautionary tale
E. Myjer, P. Kempees
ISBN (hardcover) : 9789058505743