The Challenge of Non-State Actors for Human Rights Law
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
June 17, 2010
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, Daniel Moeckli, Sangeeta Shah, Sandesh Sivakumaran, & David Harris, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
It is increasingly recognized that human rights law has to address the challenge posed by non-state actors. This chapter starts with a reflection on how the term ‘non-state actor’ is used and why it is appropriate to look at the impact of non-state actors on the enjoyment of human rights. It then recalls the ‘positive obligations’ of states to protect those within their jurisdiction from abuses by non-state actors. Finally, it considers the human rights obligations of different non-state actors: international organizations, certain non-state actors under international criminal law, corporations, and armed non-state entities. The chapter argues that we should meet the following challenges: extending and translating certain norms so that they clearly denote the obligations of non-state actors; creating and adapting specific institutions to ensure jurisdiction over the activities of non-state actors; and adjusting our assumptions about who are the duty bearers in the human rights regime.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Non-State Actors, Human Rights, Corporations, Corporate Responsibility, Armed Opposition Groups, International Organizations, UN Human Rights Council, Security CouncilAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 18, 2010 ; Last revised: June 22, 2010
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