In Deshaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a U.S. state's failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The court reasoned that while the clause forbids the state itself from depriving individuals of life, liberty, or property, its language cannot be read to create an obligation on the state. Thus, it seems the law of the land in the United States is that it is not a constitutional violation to not enforce the law.
The question remains as to whether Deshaney or other cases of nation states' domestic inaction constitute a human rights violation. Most human rights instruments do not create explicit obligations in their language. In fact, many human rights instruments may have been based on the language of the U.S. constitution and particularly the 14th Amendment. Still, there is an argument that the rights in international human rights law create an obligation on the parties that adhere to them to enforce these rights.
The UN created the International Bill of Human Rights, comprising the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the two 1966 International Human Rights Covenants on civil and political rights, and on economic, social and cultural rights which make many of the Declaration's provisions legally binding on States parties.
In addition, the UN has drafted and adopted more than 80 conventions, declarations and other instruments on political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights.
Although hard to enforce, most of these human rights instruments contain legally binding language. Currently, the international human rights field has no real enforcement power over the international community. The International Court of Justice, established in 1946, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations located in The Hague, Netherlands. However, the court is competent to entertain cases only if the parties agree to accept its jurisdiction.
[...] In other words, “Human rights is for the few who have the concerns of Westerners; it does not extend to the lowest rungs of the ladder.”[xxxiii] Country conditions in post-communist states are fragile in terms of establishing liberal democracies and a strong human rights regime. Many of the new state structures are vulnerable due to the absence of established national political cultures, transitions to a market economy that eliminate corruption, and the lack of ethnic and/or religious commonness.[xxxiv] It has been widely noted that homogeneity in ethnicity, religion, and language has greatly aided the most successful transforming political democracies and market economies: surely cannot be a coincidence that the four most successfully transforming political democracies and market economies the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, and Hungary are strikingly homogenous in ethnic, religious, and linguistic terms. [...]
[...] But UNDP will have to guard against neglecting political and civil rights-and difficult questions of how to incorporate them in programs in such countries will have to be addressed.” [xxxviii] The human trafficking issue in Russia is a human rights violation that would need to be treated in a multiple approach way as the UNDP policy states. The violation of the trafficking may be stopped; but, the real human rights abuse such as equal rights of women or the right to work without forced labor remains The UNDP policy document defines governance as: exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country's affairs at all levels . [...]
[...] According to Alexeev, the delinquent groups were acting in both industrially developed regions (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Volgograd, Kalinningrad, Ekaterinburg,) and Russian provinces.[xxix] The Human Rights Framework Of Human Trafficking Although no article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically mentions government inaction, it is implicit in several. Article 4 states, one shall be held in slavery or servitude; the slave trade shall be prohibited in all forms.” It then follows that if a government condones slavery or the slave trade that they are in violation. [...]
[...] The rationale would be that a country is not in violation as long as a country is not intentionally violating an individual's human rights through government action or power. If a country takes action to help remedy a human rights violation that was not incurred through government action, then it is only “discretionary” to follow through. Non-governmental violations of human rights would not produce an obligation on the government to remedy the violation the remedy is “discretionary”. This approach is wrong in Deshaney and in the international human rights field. [...]
[...] If a failure to act is considered a human rights violation in international law, it also seems that there will be no legal remedy due to the strength of the state sovereignty doctrine. The main issue discussed here is whether an “underprivileged” or “newly developed” country such as Russia should be allowed different human rights standard than a developed country such as the U.S. There is precedent for this line of thinking in the international environmental and economic world. However, international law has not seemed to tackle this question head on in the realm of international human rights law. [...]
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