Overall, the United Nations (UN) remains the central global institution for developing international norms and legitimizing efforts to implement them, but the number of actors involved has grown exponentially.
The primary mechanisms include UNSC action, the UN Human Rights Council(UNHRC), committees of elected experts, various rapporteurs, special representatives, and working groups.
War crimes tribunals—the International Criminal Court (ICC), tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and hybrid courts in Sierra Leone and Cambodia—also contribute to the development and enforcement of standards.
All seek to raise political will and public consciousness, assess human-rights-related conduct of states and warring parties, and offer technical advice to states on improving human rights. Generally, when they are effective, they change states' conduct by publicizing abuses rather than by providing technical advice or applying punitive measures.
The imperative to provide people with adequate public health care is strongly embedded across the globe, and substantial resources have been devoted to the challenge.
The right to freedom from slavery and forced labor has also been integrated into international and national institutions, and has benefited from high-profile pressure to combat forced labor.Together, these players have achieved marked success, though the institutionalization and implementation of different rights is progressing at varying rates.Response to mass atrocities has seen the greatest progress, even if enforcement remains inconsistent.Many experts credit intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) for advances—particularly in civil and political rights.These scholars cite the creation of an assortment of secretariats, administrative support, and expert personnel to institutionalize and implement human rights norms.Although the concept of human rights is abstract, how it is applied has a direct and enormous impact on daily life worldwide. The idea of human rights has a long history, but only in the past century has the international community sought to galvanize a regime to promote and guard them. In the last decade alone, authoritarian rule has denied civil and political liberties to billions.Moreover, implementing respect for established human rights is problematic.Some of the worst violators have not joined central rights treaties or institutions, undermining the initiatives' perceived effectiveness.Finally, the steady accumulation of human-rights-related conventions has encouraged most states to do more to implement binding legislation in their constitutions and statutes.Significant challenges to promoting human rights norms remain, however.