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Week 3 Part I

Please describe with specificity the European System for the Protection of Human Rights and its monitoring institutions. What is the Helsinki Final Act?

Week 3 Part II                                         Please list here your choice of countries for your final presentations and discuss which Human Rights systems you will cover in your final presentations. Feel free to share resources with your classmates


only 1 has posted Christopher European System for the Protection of Human RightsCOLLAPSEPlease describe with specificity the European System for the Protection of Human Rights and its Monitoring Institutions.The European System for the Protection of Human Rights began with the adoption of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This Convention, which is currently referred to as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), was adopted in 1950 by the Council of Europe (COE). The COE is a European regional intergovernmental organization that seeks to uphold human rights and promote democracy. Since the time of its adoption, the ECHR has been amended several times by Protocols. The Convention created monitoring entities: the European Commission of Human Rights that has since been abolished by Protocol 11, and the European Court of Human Rights, which oversees the implementation of the ECHR in the COE’s member states. It also conferred some monitoring power to the Committee of Ministers of the COE and to the Parliamentary Assembly. Today, the primary institution responsible for monitoring implementation and compliance of the Convention is the European Court of Human Rights. In addition, the Committee of Ministers, and the Department for the Execution of Judgements assist in compliance monitoring. Another document considered to be key in the European human rights system is one that complements the ECHR. It is called the European Social Charter (ESC). It was established to address economic and social rights. It is considered to be Europe’s Social Constitution. The  entity responsible for monitoring compliance of states party to the Charter is the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR). Although ECHR and the ESC serve as the core documents for human rights in Europe, there are numerous other documents that contribute to the European’s system of human rights. The System also includes entities and offices that support the promotion and protection of human rights. For example, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) was set up in 1993  to monitor human rights compliance and combat racism, discrimination and intolerance, and in 1999, the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights was created to raise awareness and to prevent violations. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is another important entity that works to promote compliance with human rights and to promote democracy. Currently, there are 57 nations that participate. Decisions are made by consensus but are not legally binding. What is the Helsinki Final Act?In 1975, a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) was held in Helsinki, Finland with the purpose of lessening growing tensions between the Soviet Union and the US and its European allies. Its goal was to promote the declining policy of detente. The result was the signing of the Helsinki Final Act (HFA). It was signed by the Soviet Union, the US, Canada, and all European nations with the exception of Albania. The HFA consists of “Baskets” or topics. There are two principles in Basket I that primarily deal with human rights: Guiding Principles VII and VIII. The HFA is unique in that it linked human rights and security concerns, “…which gave human rights an important place on the political agenda of East-West relations…”  (Buergenthal et al., 1988). The HFA is not a treaty and is therefore not legally binding, however, failure to comply has political consequences, which can be a powerful motivator.


Christopher EgyptCOLLAPSEEgypt’s Human Rights Systems

A few of the NGOs and Human Rights Organizations Active in Egypt             International:   Amnesty International             Human Rights Watch             Freedom House                         National:Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE)                                                Egypt National Democratic InstituteUN Human Rights Council Periodic Review – EgyptUN and OCHR ReportsNGO Shadow Reports Egyptian ConstitutionInternational human right treaties ratified by Egypt and treaty bodiesEgypt’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development GoalsUN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region.

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