chapter  3
21 Pages

Regional human rights systems

In this chapter the focus of attention shifts to examine the various regional systems. These exist in a number of different senses: first, in terms of systems linking a group of countries or member states, and second in terms of systems linking different national human rights institutions. There are also regionally based NGOs of various types, and global NGOs often have a regional structure to their operations. The OHCHR also presides over a regional system. This covers the whole globe, however, it does not exactly align with the regional systems discussed in this chapter. There is considerable variation in these systems, both in terms of their operation and the extent to which they can exert direct influence on the states within their boundaries. Established regional human rights systems, based on a human rights charter, together with some regional enforcement mechanisms, exist in Africa, the Americas and Europe and these are considered in separate sections below. In Asia and the Middle East, more limited regional developments have taken place, and sections below consider each of these in turn.