Write an article on International Law. It needs to be at least 750 words. Question According to a recent lecture in our one of the major weaknesses of the UNs conventions that protect the rights of individuals, children, women, and ethnic and racial minorities is their lack of implementation. Most individuals lack the ability to assert their rights before international tribunals. as a result, only nations can bring a suit or file a protest against other states, meaning that the state has legal rights, not individuals. If that is the case, international law in the form of these human rights conventions and covenants do little in protecting individual human rights, which is the purpose of treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and they are not worth the paper they are written on. This makes little sense, since these treaties are international law, and should have the full force of the international community behind them. In some sense, it is a positive move that the UN has declared human rights to be important, and that membership in the UN is dependent upon nations agreeing to the contents of these conventions. Portuguese sociologist Catarina Tomas (2008), when speaking of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), agrees that there is a problem with enforcing and implementing these treaties. She states that while the CRC has been ratified by the most nations, it is the least honored of all the UN conventions. Although the 1980s and 1990s saw an increase in the codification of the rights of the child, these legal, abstract and universal norms have not always corresponded to social practices (p. 6). This could amount to little more than lip service. although most nations acknowledge the legitimacy of the CRC and similar documents, they have demonstrated little commitment to their implementation. Tomas calls for increased involvement of international organizations like the UN, NGOs, and governments to change this. Question 2 As Shaws textbook on international law (2008) states, International law is based on the concept of the state (p. 487). Much of international law overlaps considerably with state sovereignty, however, it does often limit it. Third world and developing nations are most at risk of their sovereignty being limited because they do not have as much influence as the more powerful countries, which have more of a say in the UN, especially those that have a seat on the Security Council. Nevertheless, there are those that say that if developing countries want to participate in the international community, they need to agree to international law and the universal concepts of human rights. If they do not wish to, they can choose to accept the consequences of not participating in the international community. Question 3 The U.S. has signed ____ of these human rights conventions. One of the most notable exceptions is the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Although the U.S. played an active role in drafting it and signed it in 1995, the country has not yet ratified it, making the U.S. and Somalia the only two countries in the world that has not ratified it. Opposition to the CRC has come mainly from political and religious conservatives due to concerns about parental rights and threats to national control over domestic policy. There are also concerns about the CRCs mandates against the death penalty and abortion. opponents state that it is in opposition to many federal laws, including those regarding the death penalty for minors. They are also opposed to the CRCs position that a fetus does not constitute a child (UNICEF, n.d.). Question 4 The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a human rights treaty that was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979. The U.S. is the only developed nation in the world that has not yet ratified it, although they have signed it, in 1980. The CEDAW, which establishes an agenda to end all sex-based discrimination, defines discrimination in this way: Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field (Office, 1979). States that ratify the CEDAW are required to eliminate prejudices and customs based upon the belief in the inferiority or superiority of one sex, as well as those that perpetuate stereotyped roles for men and women. They must enact laws and legislation that preserve gender equality, repeal all discriminatory provisions in their laws, and exact new laws that that prevent the discrimination of women. This includes suppressing human trafficking in the form of prostitution, ensuring the right to education, and establishing tribunals and public institutions that discourage discrimination against women. The U.S., as well as other states and NGOs, have not yet signed the CADAW because they believe it promotes radical feminism and liberal attitudes regarding birth control and abortion. One of the precepts in the CADAW is freeing access to birth control and abortion, and many conservative groups, as well as the Vatican and strongly Catholic nations, are opposed to it. Reference List Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1979). Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Retrieved from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cedaw.htm. Shaw, M. (2008). International Law. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Tomas, C. (2008). Childhood and rights: Reflections on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Childhoods Today. 2(2). Retrieved from http://www.childhoodstoday.org/download.php?id=19. UNICEF. (n.d.). Convention on the Rights of the Child: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30229.html.