Human Rights in Relation to Other Topics

The interrelationship between human rights and ‘related fields’ such as development, democracy and good governance was emphasised at the United Nations Millennium Summit, which resulted in a declaration that affirmed global commitments to the protection of the vulnerable, the alleviation of poverty, and the rectification of corrupt structures and processes – particularly in those countries in which there is a lack of ‘rule of law’ and good governance. The world’s leaders resolved to ‘spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development’.

This part will first analyse human rights and development with a focus on the interrelationship between human rights and concepts such as the right to development, democracy and good governance.

Secondly, the role of economic co-operation with regard to human rights is examined in the context of how states can apply economic co-operation to further human rights both domestically and internationally. The chapter also includes a short description of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and their respective roles in stimulating economic co-operation and international stability.

Thirdly, the relationship between human rights and the right to a clean and healthy environment is discussed. The right to environment has been included in many human right instruments and international jurisprudence has made clear links between, inter alia, the rights to health and privacy and environmental protection.

The last two chapters discuss the importance of international human rights in situations of armed conflict and in the fight against terrorism where human rights law and humanitarian law complement each other and overlap. Some human rights norms are applicable in states of emergency and are non-derogable whatever the situation. This means that states have to continue to respect and apply international human rights law in armed conflict or when applying counterterrorism measures.

Icelandic Human Rights Centre

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