OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Enforcing Human Rights Laws in Times of Change and Fear: 20th century Domestic Conflicts to the Global War on Terror.

TitleEnforcing Human Rights Laws in Times of Change and Fear: 20th century Domestic Conflicts to the Global War on Terror.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsStauffer, Sarah L.
Academic DepartmentAnthropology
Thesis AdvisorHall, Dr. Roberta L.
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Anthropology
Number of Pages58
Date Published06/2004
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsenforecement, Human Rights, Humanitarian Law
Abstract

From the first laws of war to the 21St Century global War on Terror, International
Humanitarian Law has been developing slowly but steadily. After WWII the new body
of the United Nations sought justice for the gross violations by the Axis powers of a bold
new concept of ideals, "human rights," and since that time the world's States have
struggled to uphold them. With this struggle for the universal application of human
rights came an array of problems, specifically regarding wars of internal conflict as
apposed to international. Here is an assessment of the future possibilities for the
enforcement of International Human Rights Laws as they pertain to a variety of different
conflicts from around the globe. By analyzing the problems of sovereignty, Command
Responsibility, scientific evidence, interpretation, jurisdiction, and the application of
treaties, one can begin to implement the ideals put forth in the Geneva Conventions and
the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. With this application one finds that there is
no one right way to establish International Humanitarian Law in a given State, but rather
the goal of establishing a positive inclination toward change is universal. The methods
may be different in how each State enforces the standards for International Humanitarian
Law, but that does not mean that they not making a conscious effort towards active
participation in their enforcement.