let's say, we have a country, which has signed and ratified the UN convention against e.g. torture. Let's also assume a act of torture can be clearly proven, which falls under the definition of torture specified in the UN convention.

==> Is there a way for the UN, how it can punish this country for breaking that convention?

Of course torture is just an example, my question is about all UN human rights conventions

(i'm of course aware of the rough meaning of "convention" and "ratified sth", but I'm still unsure what this means in a concrete example. Because the whole convention wouldn't make much sense to me, if it can't be enforced. Of course it'd be still better than nothing, but of course not effective.)

1 Answer 1


The examination of a state’s report under a treaty can provide an occasion for exerting international pressure on the state (McQuigg, 813).

Generally, the enforcement of The UN Convention Against Torture relies on "Name and Shame". There are no automatic sanctions that the convention applies. The only arbitration that can happen is over the interpretation of the Convention Against Torture. But, making public a state's infringement of the convention can have its merits.

"...a major part of the value of the statements of international human rights bodies lies in the fact that they can be used by Non-Governmental Organizations to put pressure on governments to comply with their obligations. National NGOs can play a substantial role in ensuring that the Convention against Torture is firmly embedded in local cultures. Essentially NGOs can publicize the fact that the state has obligations under the Convention and that it is failing to comply with these duties. The government may then be shamed into fulfilling its obligations(McQuigg, 828).

References ---------------

McQuigg, Ronagh, "How Effective is the United Nations Committee Against Torture?", The European Journal of International Law Vol. 22 no. 3, http://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/3/813.full.pdf


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .