The Proof is in the Process: Self-Reporting Under International Human Rights Treaties
114 Am J. Int'l L. 1 (2020)
50 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 7, 2020
Recent research has shown that state reporting to human rights monitoring bodies is associated with improvements in rights practices, calling into question earlier claims that self-reporting is inconsequential. Yet little work has been done to explore the theoretical mechanisms that plausibly account for this association. This Article systematically documents — across treaties, countries, and years — four mechanisms through which reporting can contribute to human rights improvements: elite socialization, learning and capacity building, domestic mobilization, and law development. These mechanisms have implications for the future of human rights treaty monitoring.
Keywords: International law, human rights, international agreements, treaty body system, self-reporting systems, periodic review, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, socialization theory, treaty implementation, treaty compliance, reporting & responding, judicial enforcement of human rights
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