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Human Rights Treaties

The UN human rights treaties are at the nucleus of the international system that promotes and protects human rights.  The UN member states stay a party to one or more of the eight major human rights treaties. The human rights treaties constitute a universal human rights legal system which applies to virtually every child, woman or man in the world.

The eight core human rights treaties are: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and its optional protocols; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) and its optional protocol (1999); Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (1984); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and its optional protocols (2000); International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990); and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006). 

The human rights treaty bodies ensure the implementation of these treaties.  They are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. They are created in accordance with the provisions of the treaty that they monitor.

Inside Human Rights Treaties