What are international human rights instruments?

Your human rights and the ways they should be protected are written down in lots of different documents, so they can be part of international law and guidance.  An international human rights instrument is one of these documents― like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

International human rights instruments usually contain:

  • a list of promises that governments have to keep, and
  • explanations of how governments can keep these promises

When a State – like the UK – signs up to an instrument like this, it agrees to keep the promises it contains.

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