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Regional and International Human Rights Effectiveness in Migrants Protection

Economic, social, and cultural rights have long been marginalized and overlooked as a human right category, despite explicit legal recognition in several international agreements since 1945. This is especially true of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which was meant in the inclusion of the ‘International Bill of Rights through the sister covenant, the ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’ This was the first inclusive account of the ICESCR’s beginnings and evolution, based heavily through the duties by the UN Committee on ESCR. Matthew R. Craven delves into specific parts of the Covenant, such as the Committee’s function in the supervisory process, the nature of state commitments, the principle of non-discrimination, and the rights to work, join and establish trade unions, have a home, and eat.[1]. This scholarly work paper provides a timely evaluation of a growingly important human rights instrument and will be of interest to all those interested in Human Rights and International Law, as well as a better discussion that forms the foundation for this study.

One of the latest global humanitarian crises that have been of high concern is the Russo-Ukrainian War. This has been the war between two competing power states between Ukraine and Russia, formerly known as the United Social Soviet’s Republic (USSR). The law of war is a component of International Law since any conflict causes tension and rivalry among supporting member nations. Its primary responsibility delves into regulating the conditions for starting a war and the behaviour of warring parties. Therefore, the laws of war describe sovereignty and national identity, jurisdictions, occupation, and other key legal terms. The humanitarian consequence that has emerged after increased migrant’s devastation against the (UDHR) serves a fundamental charter having a milestone history concerning human rights obligations.

Migrants have been viewed as people who migrate for various reasons, including reuniting with family, bettering their economic prospects, and avoiding human rights violations such as armed conflict, persecutory measures and torture. Migrants are typically entitled to almost the same freedoms and rights protections as everyone else, while certain states may restrict migrants’ rights, such as voting and political involvement. This should not act as a breakthrough in violation of other rights leads to frustrations such as the rejection of the right to seek refuge in the culmination of other series of breaches. Human Rights Watch, in their report, warned that immigrants residing in Ukraine had experienced unfair prejudice and delays while attempting to evade the conflict with hundreds of Ukrainians. Moreover, the foreigners in Ukraine have had limited access to temporary or rather permanent residence, thus violating the rights of the Migrants and Asylum seekers.

With millions of Ukrainians fleeing the country after Russia launched a devastating attack, there has been an uptick in allegations of racism directed at Black individuals attempting to leave the state.[2] Black persons in trial to emigrate the country have been unattended at border points and have met discrimination upon attempts to board public transport in seeking asylum in other state. Reports that Africans are subjected to inhumane treatment would be racist and violate international law. This means that the regional and global human rights have not fully executed their mandate as instituted to effectively address the recognition and the protection of the human rights of the migrant population.[3].

The humanitarian rights that have been in constant mistreatment as outlined in the UDHR are not limited to the freedom to seek asylum, the freedom to be free of torture, and the freedom of expression. With Ukraine being the case of focus in the study, violations of UDHR have been expressed through the Blacks seeking asylum in another nation to avoid persecution and grave human rights violations. The rights for Blacks to be free from torture have also been expressed cessation of movement in safer grounds across its border, thus making their life at risk. Moreover, freedom of expression has been limited with the censorship of publications and some parts of the news, leading to partisan movements of limited coverage in the media.

With Ukraine being my country of focus in this study, the state on international human rights matters ratified focusing on the UDHR as a paper for implementation. This has been facilitated through the OHCHR, the front line humanitarian rights organization across the world. The UN General Assembly gave it a one-of-a-kind mission to promote and preserve all humanitarian rights inclusive of all people. The (OHCHR) established that all human beings have inherent rights, notwithstanding the race, ethnicity, language, religion, and nationality[4]. The document entails the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression and opinion, the right to work and education, and many other human rights. The human rights that have been identified and engaged as mistreatment are already identified in the document. This includes the freedom of seeking asylum, the right to be free of torture, and freedom to unlimited expression.

Through the drafting of the rights, Asylum seekers have the right to have their applications for protection in Ukraine formalized with a certificate, which serves as a legal foundation for staying in Ukraine. The instance for torture states no one shall be tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The torture aims to obliterate the victim’s personality and denies the human being’s intrinsic dignity. Finally, through the draft of freedom of expression, each and every human being is entitled to free expression, which includes the empowerment to hold opinions disregards to coercion and the ability to seek, receive, and transmit ideas and information via any channel throughout all borders. The nature of the UDHR is a historic document that specifies the rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled. It was the world’s first international treaty on fundamental human rights concepts, inalienable and universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. These rights have not been in full application concerning the situation that has been faced in Ukraine with constant victimizations of the aliens and more of the Black race due to ethnic disparities that have long been experienced.

Concerning the reforms and changes that need to be actualized as per the document is first that the most basic issue is that the UDHR does not offer a clear mechanism for implementation to the effectiveness of recognition of human rights[5]. The UDHR, like all UN declarations, is an aspirational charter. They signify the aspirations and objectives, but they do not provide a tangible framework for achieving them. There are no mechanisms under the UDHR for tracking progress or giving support with achieving the goals set forth therein. Even if the declaration is universally approved, people endowed with the rights mentioned in the UDHR live inside states, and states remain sovereign. The best way of strengthening and improving accountability is through institutionalizing a framework that the states shall provide the assessment of their progress toward universal human rights that have been improved.

The enforcement mechanisms to be dealt with are grouped utilizing convention or treaty mechanisms featured in UN specialized bodies in broad categories of charter-based. These mechanisms are steered towards bringing information on the human rights violation or the non-compliance to the human rights obligations and seeking enforcement through holding accountable of the perpetrators to the rights. Moreover, other law enforcement mechanisms include unilateral enforcement, domestic enforcement and bilateral enforcement. States interacting as diplomats within the framework of the International organizations dictates more on how nations would interact in a more limited capacity within their borders.[6] Under universal jurisdiction, nations will utilize their national judicial systems to enforce international legal duties unilaterally against private individuals from other countries. Through bilateral enforcement, states are obliged to interact with others in a particular manner and finally, domestic enforcement whereby the domestic courts enforce treaties. The effectiveness of all these enforcement measures is dependent on the state’s unilateral cooperation to the implementations without any coercion by particular member states.

The reforms that are further required in the issuance of the enforcement rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be executed through reforms in various methods. This will entail monitoring human rights violations, securing restitution for victims of human rights breaches, easing the needs of victims of human rights violations, conducting human rights research, and teaching the public about human rights as they are all part of this.[7]This is the best way to offer a basis of human rights watch and enforcement to the extent of being universally enjoyed by all citizens irrespective of state, origin or ethnic background.


Craven, Matthew C. R. (1992) The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: a perspective on its development.

Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Odette, International Human Rights Law and Practice, Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition (2020)

Knight, Benjamin. “How Is International Law Enforced?” All, August 21, 2020.

“OHCHR | Ukraine Homepage.” Accessed March 25, 2022.

“Protect Human Rights.” United Nations. United Nations. Accessed March 25, 2022.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Progress and Challenges.” Ethics &; International Affairs, December 7, 2018.

“Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.” ENNHRI, January 13, 2021.

“Ukraine: Unequal Treatment for Foreigners Attempting to Flee.” Human Rights Watch, March 4, 2022.

[1] Craven, Matthew C. R. (1992) The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: a perspective on its development.

[2] “Ukraine: Unequal Treatment for Foreigners Attempting to Flee.” Human Rights Watch, March 4, 2022.

[3] Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Odette, International Human Rights Law and Practice, Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition (2020)

[4] “Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.” ENNHRI, January 13, 2021.

[5] “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Progress and Challenges.” Ethics & International Affairs, December 7, 2018.

[6] Benjamin Knight, “How Is International Law Enforced?,” All, August 21, 2020,

[7] “Protect Human Rights,” United Nations (United Nations), accessed March 25, 2022,


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