Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RESINTORG — Result In Brief

Project ID: 299446
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Germany

Accountability for human rights violations

Research on the relationship between the domestic and international mechanisms of international organisations and the separation of their powers can help victims of human rights violations.
Accountability for human rights violations
International organisations hold a degree of responsibility when it comes to how they can affect human rights. There are norms and rules that bind international organisations. Authorities are required to ensure there are no human rights violations committed by international organisations. The EU-funded project RESINTORG (Responsibility of international organisations for human rights violations) has delved into this and also looked for possible assistance that victims of human rights violations may have.

The work established a degree of legal norms under general international law that apply to all international organisations. This includes any public authority having to refrain from interfering with human rights. Exceptions would include a case with a specific legal basis for the interference under the rules of the organisation or general international law.

Additional human rights norms that are applicable to international organisations have been identified. They concern a different content and scope that varies across international organisations and relies on the particular organisations, mandate and functions. The project classified certain legal norms as positive human rights obligations of international obligations. International organisations may implement them in order to promote, protect and monitor human rights.

Results indicate that the United Nations (UN) has the widest range of human rights obligations due to its mission to maintain peace and security and promote international human rights. They also show that the most important criteria deeming an act as a human rights violation stem from the organisation's internal rules. Authorities that can establish responsibility in case of human rights violations were identified. These include international internal and external mechanisms of an organisation as well as domestic mechanisms. International mechanisms were found to be relatively rare and usually for the settlement of disputes, mainly between organisations and their staff.

The research will contribute to the protection of human rights from abuse by international organisations, in addition to helping raise the legal and political standards of EU-level regulations.

Related information


Human rights, international organisations, international law
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