International Human Rights Law

Elizabeth has studied international human rights law and has a keen interest in its application.

She has worked at the UN Secretariat in New York and attended hearings of country reports at the Committee Against Torture and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

While at the UN in early 2003, Elizabeth watched the war in Iraq unfold as a book already written, but presented as global consultation for an author’s outline idea. This lead to her report Iraq: propaganda’s war on human rights about the illegality of propaganda used by the UK and USA.

In abridged form, this research paper was published in Communication Ethics Now, Troubador Publishing 2008, edited by Richard Keeble, and in Ethical Space The International Journal of Communication Ethics Vol 2, Number 3 2005, as Human Writes: The Media’s Role in War Propaganda. And as a paper in Peace Review Journal of Social Justice, Fall 2004, Law and War issue.

Please see Elizabeth’s articles on international human rights law below, to read more:

  • 2018 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: Case study on UNICEF’s support to the African Committee of Experts for the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC).
  • 2015 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: Working with ACERWC on behalf of their partner UNICEF, to produce a range of communications materials for the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including a quiz for children.
  • June 2015 Fracking: Writer, contributor and editor of A Guide to Rights-Based Advocacy: International Human Rights Law and Fracking (right). How the international human rights framework can be used to initiate rights-based advocacy against human rights violations that result from the harm caused by hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
  • May 2013 Human Trafficking: Human trafficking and international law. Trafficking in persons was codified as long ago as 1910. Over 100 years later, despite the term “trafficking” implying movement, international law defines trafficking by a person’s exploitation and not by their transit.
  • May 2012 Intercountry Adoption: Legal Frameworks Fact Sheet, part of media pack for The African Child Policy Forum’s 5th International Policy Conference Intercountry Adoption: Alternatives and Controversies
  • August 2005 War PropagandaThe media’s role in war propaganda. According to the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) the central questions are “Can journalism kill?” And “At what point does political propaganda become criminal?”.
  • June 2005 War PropagandaIraq: propaganda’s war on human rights. States wage war in the name of peace and democracy. Yet war propaganda can violate human rights and undermine the democratic principles it seeks to champion. Despite this it is rarely acknowledged, by the media, governments, or even anti-war campaigners, that war propaganda is illegal under international human rights law.
  • February 2003 War PropagandaIraq: the road to war. In his elaborate multimedia presentation, which included satellite photographs of alleged chemical weapons installations and intercepted telephone conversations, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell detailed the apparent evacuation of chemical and biological weapons, indicated Iraqi links to terrorist networks and highlighted the country’s record of systematic human rights abuses.
  • February 2003 The UN SystemCocktails or Quorum: the 22nd meeting of State Parties to the ICCPR. I’m at the UN in New York, sitting in on the 22nd meeting of the State Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), held to fill a vacancy in the Human Rights Committee.
  • January 2003 International Criminal CourtThe evolution of the International Criminal Court. There are several key objectives which the establishment of an international criminal court is able to satisfy, and which alternative solutions such as reliance on national justice and ad-hoc criminal tribunals are not able to address.
  • January 2003 UDHR: The Universal Declaration’s bias towards Western democracies. As one of the most widely cited human rights documents in the world, the non-compulsory form of the declaration should not belie its enormous influence in steering global human rights culture.
  • January 2001 Human Rights InstrumentsHuman rights mechanisms and international law. The legal status of various human rights instruments and the significant and growing impact of human rights on the development of international law.
Liberty & Humanity

The UN now has 193 member states, over three times the number upon drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Can it still be claimed that the UDHR represents “a common statement of goals and aspirations – a vision of the world as the international community would want it to become”. Read more.