2.1.2. European Council
1. Give an oral summary of the following text using the plan:
1) Aim of the Council of Europe;
3) The organs of the Council of Europe:
a the Committee of Ministers;
b the Consultative Assembly;
5) Privileges and immunities.
Statute of Council of Europe
The Governments of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Irish Republic, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
Convinced that the pursuit of peace based upon justice and international co-operation is vital for the preservation of human society and civilisation;
Reaffirming their devotion to the spiritual and moral values which are the common heritage of their peoples and the true source of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy;
Believing that, for the maintenance and further realisation of these ideals and in the interests of economic and social progress, there is a need of a closer unity between all like-minded countries of Europe;
Considering that, to respond to this need and to the expressed aspirations of their peoples in this regard, it is necessary forthwith to create an organisation which will bring European States into closer association,
Have in consequence decided to set up a Council of Europe consisting of a committee of representatives of governments and of a consultative assembly, and have for this purpose adopted the following Statute.
Chapter I - Aim of the Council of Europe
a The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.
b This aim shall be pursued through the organs of the Council by discussion of questions of common concern and by agreements and common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific, legal and administrative matters and in the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
c Participation in the Council of Europe shall not affect the collaboration of its members in the work of the United Nations and of other international organisations or unions to which they are parties.
d Matters relating to national defence do not fall within the scope of the Council of Europe.
Chapter II - Membership
The members of the Council of Europe are the Parties to this Statute.
Every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council as specified in Chapter I.
Any European State which is deemed to be able and willing to fulfil the provisions of Article 3 may be invited to become a member of the Council of Europe by the Committee of Ministers. Any State so invited shall become a member on the deposit on its behalf with the Secretry General of an instrument of accession to the present Statute.
a In special circumstances, a European country which is deemed to be able and willing to fulfil the provisions of Article 3 may be invited by the Committee of Ministers to become an associate member of the Council of Europe. Any country so invited shall become an associate member on the deposit on its behalf with the Secretary General of an instrument accepting the present Statute. An associate member shall be entitled to be represented in the Consultative Assembly only.
b The expression "member" in this Statute includes an associate member except when used in connexion with representation on the Committee of Ministers.
Before issuing invitations under Article 4, 5 above, the Committee of Ministers shall determine the number of representatives on the Consultative Assembly to which the proposed member shall be entitled and its proportionate financial contribution.
Any member of the Council of Europe may withdraw by formally notifying the Secretary General of its intention to do so. Such withdrawal shall take effect at the end of the financial year in which it is notified, if the notification is given during the first nine months of that financial year. If the notification is given in the last three months of the financial year, it shall take effect at the end of the next financial year.
Any member of the Council of Europe which has seriously violated Article 3 may be suspended from its rights of representation and requested by the Committee of Ministers to withdraw under Article 7. If such member does not comply with this request, the Committee may decide that it has ceased to be a member of the Council as from such date as the Committee may determine.
The Committee of Ministers may suspend the right of representation on the Committee and on the Consultative Assembly of a member which has failed to fulfil its financial obligation during such period as the obligation remains unfulfilled.
Chapter III - General
The organs of the Council of Europe are:
i the Committee of Ministers;
ii the Consultative Assembly.
Both these organs shall be served by the Secretariat of the Council of Europe.
The seat of the Council of Europe is at Strasbourg.
The official languages of the Council of Europe are English and French. The rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers and of the Consultative Assembly shall determine in what circumstances and under what conditions other languages may be used.
Chapter IV - Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers is the organ which acts on behalf of the Council of Europe in accordance withArticle 15 and 16.
Each member shall be entitled to one representative on the Committee of Ministers, and each representative shall be entitled to one vote.
Representatives on the Committee shall be the Ministers for Foreign Affairs. When a Minister for Foreign Affairs is unable to be present or in other circumstances where it may be desirable, an alternate may be nominated to act for him, who shall, whenever possible, be a member of his government.
a On the recommendation of the Consultative Assembly or on its own initiative, the Committee of Ministers shall consider the action required to further the aim of the Council of Europe, including the conclusion of conventions or agreements and the adoption by governments of a common policy with regard to particular matters. Its conclusions shall be communicated to members by the Secretary General.
b In appropriate cases, the conclusions of the Committee may take the form of recommendations to the governments of members, and the Committee may request the governments of members to inform it of the action taken by them with regard to such recommendations.
The Committee of Ministers shall, subject to the provisions of Articles24, 28, 30, 32, 33 and 35, relating to the powers of the Consultative Assembly, decide with binding effect all matters relating to the internal organisation and arrangements of the Council of Europe. For this purpose the Committee of Ministers shall adopt such financial and administrative arrangements as may be necessary.
The Committee of Ministers may set up advisory and technical committees or commissions for such specific purposes as it may deem desirable.
The Committee of Ministers shall adopt its rules of procedure, which shall determine amongst other things:
i the quorum;
ii the method of appointment and term of office of its President;
iii the procedure for the admission of items to its agenda, including the giving of notice of proposals for resolutions; and
iv the notifications required for the nomination of alternates underArticle 14.
At each session of the Consultative Assembly the Committee of Ministers shall furnish the Assembly with statements of its activities, accompanied by appropriate documentation.
a Resolutions of the Committee of Ministers relating to the following important matters, namely:
i recommendations under Article 15b;
iii questions under Article 21.a. i and b;
iv questions underArticle 33;
v recommendations for the amendment of Articles 1.d, 7, 15, 20 and 22;
vi any other question which the Committee may, by a resolution passed under d below, decide should be subject to a unanimous vote on account of its importance, require the unanimous vote of the representatives casting a vote, and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
b Questions arising under the rules of procedure or under the financial and administrative regulations may be decided by a simple majority vote of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
c Resolutions of the Committee under Article 4 and 5 require a two-thirds majority of all the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
d All other resolutions of the Committee, including adoption of the budget, of rules of procedure and of financial and administrative regulations, recommen-dations for the amendment of articles of this Statute, other than those mentioned in paragraph a.v above, and deciding in case of doubt which paragraph of this article applies, require a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
a Unless the Committee decides otherwise, meetings of the Committee of Ministers shall be held:
i in private, and
ii at the seat of the Council.
b The Committee shall determine what information shall be published regarding the conclusions and discussions of a meeting held in private.
c The Committee shall meet before and during the beginning of every session of the Consultative Assembly and at such other times as it may decide.
Chapter V - Consultative Assembly
The Consultative Assembly is the deliberative organ of the Council of Europe. It shall debate matters within its competence under this Statute and present its conclusions, in the form of recommendations, to the Committee of Ministers.
a The Consultative Assembly may discuss and make recommendations upon any matter within the aim and scope of the Council of Europe as defined in Chapter I. It shall also discuss and may make recommendations upon any matter referred to it by the Committee of Ministers with a request for its opinion.
b The Assembly shall draw up its agenda in accordance with the provisions of paragraph a above. In so doing, it shall have regard to the work of other European intergovernmental organisations to which some or all of the members of the Council are parties.
c The President of the Assembly shall decide, in case of doubt, whether any question raised in the course of the session is within the agenda of the Assembly.
The Consultative Assembly may, with due regard to the provisions of Article 38.d, establish committees or commissions to consider and report to it any matter which falls within its competence under Article 23, to examine and prepare questions on its agenda and to advise on all matters of procedure.
a The Consultative Assembly shall consist of representatives of each member, elected by its parliament from among the members thereof, or appointed from among the members of that parliament, in such manner as it shall decide, subject, however, to the right of each member government to make any additional appointments necessary when the parliament is not in session and has not laid down the procedure to be followed in that case. Each representative must be a national of the member whom he represents, but shall not at the same time be a member of the Committee of Ministers. The term of office of representatives thus appointed will date from the opening of the ordinary session following their appointment; it will expire at the opening of the next ordinary session or of a later ordinary session, except that, in the event of elections to their parliaments having taken place, members shall be entitled to make new appointments. If a member fills vacancies due to death or resignation, or proceeds to make new appointments as a result of elections to its parliament, the term of office of the new representatives shall date from the first sitting of the Assembly following their appointment
b No representative shall be deprived of his position as such during a session of the Assembly without the agreement of the Assembly.
c Each representative may have a substitute who may, in the absence of the representative, sit, speak and vote in his place. The provisions of paragraph a above apply to the appointment of substitutes.
The conditions under which the Committee of Ministers collectively may be represented in the debates of the Consultative Assembly, or individual representatives on the Committee or their alternates may address the Assembly, shall be determined by such rules of procedure on this subject as may be drawn up by the Committee after consultation with the Assembly.
a The Consultative Assembly shall adopt its rules of procedure and shall elect from members its President, who shall remain in office until the next ordinary session.
b The President shall control the proceedings but shall not take part in the debate or vote. The substitute of the representative who is President may sit, speak and vote in his place.
c The rules of procedure shall determine inter alia:
i the quorum;
ii the manner of the election and terms of office of the President and other officers;
iii the manner in which the agenda shall be drawn up and be communicated to representatives;
iv the time and manner in which the names of representatives and their substitutes shall be notified.
Subject to the provisions of Article 30, all resolutions of the Consultative Assembly, including resolutions:
i embodying recommendations to the Committee of Ministers;
ii proposing to the Committee matters for discussion in the Assembly;
iii establishing committees or commissions;
iv determining the date of commencement of its sessions;
v determining what majority is required for resolutions in cases not covered by sections i to iv above or determining cases of doubt as to what majority is required, shall require a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote.
On matters relating to its internal procedure, which includes the election of officers, the nomination of persons to serve on committees and commissions and the adoption of rules of procedure, resolutions of the Consultative Assembly shall be carried by such majorities as the Assembly may determine in accordance with Article 29. v .
Debates on proposals to be made to the Committee of Ministers that a matter should be placed on the agenda of the Consultative Assembly shall be confined to an indication of the proposed subject-matter and the reasons for and against its inclusion in the agenda.
The Consultative Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once a year, the date and duration of which shall be determined by the Assembly so as to avoid as far as possible overlapping with parliamentary sessions of members and with sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In no circumstances shall the duration of an ordinary session exceed one month unless both the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers concur.
Ordinary sessions of the Consultative Assembly shall be held at the seat of the Council unless both the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers concur that the session should be held elsewhere.
The Consultative Assembly may be convened in extraordinary session, upon the initiative either of the Committee of Ministers or of the President of the Assembly after agreement between them, such agreement also to determine the date and place of the session.
Unless the Consultative Assembly decides otherwise, its debates shall be conducted in public.
Chapter VI - Secretariat
a The Secretariat shall consist of a Secretary General, a Deputy Secretary General and such other staff as may be required.
b The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General shall be appointed by the Consultative Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers.
c The remaining staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary General, in accordance with the administrative regulations.
d No member of the Secretariat shall hold any salaried office from any government or be a member of the Consultative Assembly or of any national legislature or engage in any occupation incompatible with his duties.
e Every member of the staff of the Secretariat shall make a solemn declaration affirming that his duty is to the Council of Europe and that he will perform his duties conscientiously, uninfluenced by any national considerations, and that he will not seek or receive instructions in connexion with the performance of his duties from any government or any authority external to the Council and will refrain from any action which might reflect on his position as an international official responsible only to the Council. In the case of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General this declaration shall be made before the Committee, and in the case of all other members of the staff, before the Secretary General.
f Every member shall respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary General and the staff of the Secretariat and not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Chapter VIII - Privileges and immunities
a The Council of Europe, representatives of members and the Secretariat shall enjoy in the territories of its members such privileges and immunities as are reasonably necessary for the fulfilment of their functions. These immunities shall include immunity for all representatives to the Consultative Assembly from arrest and all legal proceedings in the territories of all members, in respect of words spoken and votes cast in the debates of the Assembly or its committees or commissions.
b The members undertake as soon as possible to enter into agreement for the purpose of fulfilling the provisions of paragraph a above. For this purpose the Committee of Ministers shall recommend to the governments of members the acceptance of an agreement defining the privileges and immunities to be granted in the territories of all members. In addition, a special agreement shall be concluded with the Government of the French Republic defining the privileges and immunities which the Council shall enjoy at its seat.
2. Read and translate the text into Ukrainian.
The term "declaration" usually denotes a treaty that declares existing law with or without modification, or creates new law. It may, however, be pointed out that not all declarations are to be regarded as treaties as they do not create contractual obligations between two or more states.
Although sometimes declarations (i. e. legally binding agreements) are important international agreements in themselves, they are more often appended to a treaty or convention to form a subsidiary compact, or to place on record some understanding reached or some explanation given. A mere general statement of policy and principles cannot be regarded as intending to give rise to a contractual obligation in the strict sense of the word.
Ministers for Foreign Affairs, even heads of government or heads of state, now frequently meet for a few days, even for a few hours, to discuss policies and problems of common interest to their countries. These meetings lead to what is sometimes known under the traditional term of "Declaration" or "Communique".
The results of such conferences are usually, for lack of time, not set out in formal treaties signed in the traditional manner. Furthermore, the members of the executive authority do not usually need special powers. Very often, the participants confine themselves to the drawing up of a common statement which is handed out during a press conference. Such documents, which can have an outstanding importance and political influence and be binding upon the participating governments may have none of the classic character of international agreements.
Legal experts are concerned over the obligatory value of these "declarations of intention" or "statements of policy and principles", the juridical character of which must still be defined. Normally, because of their designation of "declaration" or "communique", they are assumed to constitute statements of intention or policy rather than to constitute international commitments such as are normally embodied in the customary form of an international agreement.
The title "Declaration" is also frequently given to agreements between governments regarding some minor matter, and has been used in this way for a considerable number of agreements on such subjects as modification of a former convention, execution of letters of request, recognition of tonnage certificates, fishery regulations, etc. These may or may not provide for ratification.
A Answer the questions:
1. What does the term "declaration" denote? 2. Are all declarations to be regarded as treaties? 3. When can an international instrument be regarded as legally binding? 4. What is the usual form of a declaration? 5. What is "a declaration of intention"? Is it assumed to constitute any international commitments? 6. What are the final documents of summit meetings? 7. What subjects are generally covered in a declaration?
B Study the use of italicized words in different phrases, suggest their Ukrainian equivalents.
customs ~; a joint ~; a political ~; a solemn ~; a ~ for (against) smth; a ~ of independence; a ~ of policy; a ~ of the poll; a ~ of rights, a ~ of war; the ~ on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; the UN ~ on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Universal ~ of Human Rights; to make a ~; to sign a ~.
a foreign policy ~; a formal (official) ~; a Joint ~; an unfounded ~; a verbal ~; a written ~; a ~ of the defence, a ~ of the prosecution; to come out with a public ~; to issue (publish) a ~; to make a ~; to make a ~ for the press.
C Suggest the English for:
1) Всесвітня декларація прав людини; 2) Декларація про надання незалежності колоніальним країнам та народам; 3) заява з питань зовнішньої політики; 4) необгрунтована заява; 5) спільна заява; 6) урочиста декларація; 7) оголошення війни; 8) оголошення результатів голосування; 9) виступити з заявою для преси; 10) зробити заяву.
3. Memorize the phrases below, suggest their Ukrainian equivalents.
1) the commitments earlier assumed by the Sides; 2) equality and mutual benefit; 3) full respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; 4) a general statement of policy; 5) a legally binding agreement; 6) non-interference in internal affairs; 7) to be appended to a treaty; 8) to be regarded as a treaty: 9) to create contractual obligations: 10) to place on record some understanding reached.
4. Memorize the archaic words below pertaining to the formal style. Translate into Ukrainian using the following definitions:
whereas: in view of the fact that; taking into consideration; in contrast or comparison with;
whereat: at which place; for which reason;
whereby: by which means; in consequence of which;
wherefrom: from which; whence;
wherein: in which place or respect;
whereof: of what, which, or whom;
whereon: on which;
whereto: to which: towards what place, direction, or end;
whereupon: in consequence of which: immediately after which;
wherewith: with which.
4.1 Translate into Ukrainian paying attention to the words in bold type.
1 The ideal of free human beings can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civic and political rights. 2. Decision 3.3 wherein the Executive Board expressed its opinion concerning the future presentation of c/5 documents is of particular importance. 3. The procedure by which the present Convention is to be applied is defined in the Regulations for its execution, which constitute an integral part thereof. thereafter, declare that the present Protocol shall extend to all territories for whose international relations it is responsibility. 5. In faith whereof the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed the present Convention. 6. The Director-General shall lay down and enforce rules and provisions consistent therewith. 7. Unesco's programmes in the field of communication are based upon the fundamental principles stated therein. 4. Any High Contracting Party may, at the time of ratification or accession, or at any time
5. Translate Into English taking note of the words and phrases in bold type.
1. Усяка спроба, направлена на те, щоб частково або повністю порушити ззовні територіальну цілісність країни, несумісна з цілями і принципами ООН. 2. Необхідно віддавати пріоритет у програмі соціальних наук їх розвитку у країнах третього світу з тим, щоб дозволити їм краще зрозуміти своє становище. 3. У межах цієї мети ЮНЕСКО доручено виконання в Африці проекту надання допомоги Секретаріату Західноафриканської економічної співдружності. 4. З цією метою необхідно приділяти більше уваги гармонізації політики у галузях освіти та культури. 5. Цей підхід повинен мати на меті розвиток здібності вирішувати сучасні проблеми. 6. Особливу увагу слід приділити міжнародному співробітництву з метою сприяння проведенню у життя довгострокових планів.
6. Translate the following texts into Ukrainian:
Text 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Fifty years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a bulwark against oppression and discrimination. In the wake of a devastating world war, which had witnessed some of the most barbarous crimes in human history, the Universal Declaration marked the first time that the rights and freedoms of individuals were set forth in such detail. It also represented the first international recognition that human rights and fundamental freedoms are applicable to every person, everywhere. In this sense, the Universal Declaration was a landmark achievement in world history. Today, it continues to affect people's lives and inspire human rights activism and legislation all over the world.
The Universal Declaration is remarkable in two fundamental aspects. In 1948, the then 58 Member States of the United Nations represented a range of ideologies, political systems and religious and cultural backgrounds, as well as different stages of economic development. The authors of the Declaration, themselves from different regions of the world, sought to ensure that the draft text would reflect these different cultural traditions and incorporate common values inherent in the world's principal legal systems and religious and philosophical traditions. Most important, the Universal Declaration was to be a common statement of mutual aspirations - a shared vision of a more equitable and just world.
The success of their endeavour is demonstrated by the virtually universal acceptance of the Declaration. Today, the Universal Declaration, translated into nearly 250 national and local languages, is the best known and most cited human rights document in the world. The foundation of international human rights law, the Universal Declaration serves as a model for numerous international treaties and declarations and is incorporated in the constitutions and laws of many countries.
For the first time in history, the international community embraced a document considered to have universal value - "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations". Its Preamble acknowledges the importance of a human rights legal framework to maintaining international peace and security, stating that recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all individuals is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Elaborating the United Nations Charter's declared purpose of promoting social progress and well-being in larger freedom, the Declaration gives equal importance to economic, social and cultural rights and to civil rights and political liberties, and affords them the same degree of protection. The Declaration has inspired more than 60 international human rights instruments, which together constitute a comprehensive system of legally binding treaties for the promotion and protection of human rights.
The Universal Declaration covers the range of human rights in 30 clear and concise articles. The first two articles lay the universal foundation of human rights: human beings are equal because of their shared essence of human dignity; human rights are universal, not because of any State or international organization, but because they belong to all of humanity. The two articles assure that human rights are the birthright of everyone, not privileges of a select few, nor privileges to be granted or denied. Article 1 declares that "all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason andconscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." Article 2 recognizes the universal dignity of a life free from discrimination. "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
The first cluster of articles, 3 to 21, sets forth civil and political rights to which everyone is entitled. The right to life, liberty and personal security, recognized in Article 3, sets the base for all following political rights and civil liberties, including freedom from slavery, torture and arbitrary arrest, as well as the rights to a fair trial, free speech and free movement and privacy.
The second cluster of articles, 22 to27, sets forth the economic, social and cultural rights to which all human beings are entitled. The cornerstone of these rights is Article 22, acknowledging that, as a member of society, everyone has the right to social security and is therefore entitled to the realization of the economic, social and cultural rights "indispensable" for his or her dignity and free and full personal development. Five articles elaborate the rights necessary for the enjoyment of the fundamental right to social security, including economic rights related to work, fair remuneration and leisure, social rights concerning an adequate standard of living for health, well-being and education, and the right to participate in the cultural life of the community.
The third and final cluster of articles, 28 to 30, provides a larger protective framework in which all human rights are to be universally enjoyed. Article 28 recognizes the right to a social and international order that enables the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Article 29 acknowledges that, along with rights, human beings also have obligations to the community which also enable them to develop their individual potential freely and fully. Article 30, finally, protects the interpretation of the articles of the Declaration from any outside interference contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. It explicitly states that no State, group or person can claim, on the basis of the Declaration, to have the right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration.
Text 2 International Bill of Human Rights
Once the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, the Commission on Human Rights, the premier human rights intergovernmental body within the United Nations, set out to translate its principles into international treaties that protected specific rights. Given the unprecedented nature of the task, the General Assembly decided to draft two Covenants codifying the two sets of rights outlined in the Universal Declaration: Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Member States debated the individual provisions for two decades, seeking to give explicit endorsement to certain aspects of the universality of human rights only implicitly referred to in the Universal Declaration, such as the right of all peoples to self-determination, as well as reference to certain vulnerable groups, such as indigenous people and minorities.
Consensus was reached in 1966, and the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that year. The preambles and articles 1, 2, 3 and 5 are virtually identical in both International Covenants. Both preambles recognize that human rights derive from the inherent dignity of human beings. Article 1 of each Covenant affirms that all peoples have the right of self-determination and that by virtue of that right they are free to determine their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Article 2, in both cases, reaffirms the principle of non-discrimination, echoing the Universal Declaration, while Article 3 stresses that States should ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all human rights. Article 5 of both Covenants echoes the final provision of the Universal Declaration, providing safeguards against the destruction or undue limitation of any human right or fundamental freedom. Two Optional Protocols elaborate certain provisions of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, one providing for complaints by individuals, the other advocating the abolition of the death penalty.
When they entered into force in 1976, the two International Covenants made many of the provisions of the Universal Declaration effectively binding for States that ratified them. These two International Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration and the Optional Protocols, comprise the International Bill of Human Rights.
Over 60 human rights treaties elaborate fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the International Bill of Human Rights, addressing concerns such as slavery, genocide, humanitarian law, the administration of justice, social development, religious tolerance, cultural cooperation, discrimination, violence against women, and the status of refugees and minorities. The following four Conventions, relating to racial discrimination, torture, women and children, are considered core human rights treaties, together with the two International Covenants:
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (adopted in 1965/entry into force 1969) was a ground-breaking treaty defining and condemning racial discrimination. Calling for national measures towards the advancement of specific racial or ethnic groups, the Convention also makes the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or inspiring racial hatred punishable by law.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979/1981) specifies measures for the advancement and empowerment of women in private and public life, particularly in the areas of education, employment, health, marriage and the family.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984/1987) bans torture and rape as weapons of war. In 1998, in a major effort to help torture victims and to step up international attempts to end torture, the United Nations declared 26 June as the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989/1990) is the most universally ratified human rights Convention. Only two Member States, the United States and Somalia, are not yet parties to the Convention, which protects children, among other things, from economic and sexual exploitation.
Some 14 States have incorporated provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into their constitutions, while 35 have passed new laws conforming to the Convention or amended laws related to child abuse, child labour and adoption. Other Member States have extended the length of compulsory education, guaranteed child refugees and minority children special protection or reformed juvenile justice systems, as stipulated by the Convention.