Past Program

Aug 01 - Aug 08, 1998

Human Rights: An International Legal Perspective


Nineteen ninety-eight marks the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. In the fifty years following this landmark effort to establish a global structure of human rights protection, significant progress has been made in the codification of human rights within the framework of international law. Still, violations throughout the world remain a grim testament to the lack of a universal commitment to the fundamental protection of human rights, and point to the failure of many mechanisms intended to prevent such atrocities.


The second in a series devoted to international human rights law, this session will explore the various legal instruments and implementation mechanisms that have been, or perhaps should be, developed to assure that all governments respect and protect the fundamental rights of their citizens. Following an overview of the history and evolution of human rights law, the session will focus on current human rights issues confronting both the international legal community and specific geopolitical regions. The increasingly important role of non-governmental legal organizations in the advocacy of human rights will also be explored to illustrate the effective prosecution of violations in a variety of legal and cultural settings.