Important Human Rights Conventions

Four important human rights conventions are described briefly below. They each represent aspects of Commonwealth values that you will continually encounter in this course, and in work with youth development. These values are:

  • democratic rights
  • social development and the eradication of poverty
  • equality for women
  • protection for children and youth.

The four human rights conventions that correspond to these values are:

  1. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  2. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  3. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
  4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The first two of these were drafted together and adopted by the UN in 1966 but did not come into force until 1976. They are intended to be a more concrete elaboration of the Universal Declaration. Together, the Universal Declaration and the two Covenants are known as the International Bill of Human Rights.

We will look at these four human rights conventions one by one.