How Human Rights Work in Practice: Treaties
Choose one of the treaties listed below.*
In part one of your answer, read the text of the treaty and identify its key goals. Through what mechanisms does the treaty aim to achieve these goals? In part two of your answer, reflect on how we can know whether this treaty is effective – by what standards can we measure its “success”? Finally, in part three of your answer, choose a country that has ratified this treaty that you find interesting. Using the standards identified in part two, make an argument as to whether the treaty has been successful or not in this case.
Your paper should be 6–7 double-spaced pages, excluding the reference list (please make sure to format your references correctly using a consistent citation style). It should be in essay form, with an introduction and conclusion, but you may want to use subheadings to identify each part of your response. You do not need to devote the same amount of space to each part of the question, but make sure that your essay addresses each of these prompts. In particular, we are looking for you to make a clear argument in part three as to whether the treaty or organization has been effective (make sure that your introduction clearly states your answer to this part).
This assignment is intended to increase your practical knowledge of how human rights work in practice, and as such we are not looking for you to conduct extensive academic research beyond the lectures and course materials. In answering part one, you need only read the text of the treaty (for question one) or the website of your chosen human rights organization (for question two). In answering part two, you do not need to conduct any additional research but may find it useful to reflect upon ideas from the lectures and course materials. In answering part three, you will need to conduct independent research on your chosen case study but do not need to emphasize academic sources.
You will be graded according to the quality of your argument, writing, and understanding of key materials. Use the grading rubric for this assignment to gain an indication of the type of things we are looking for in your paper, and feel free to ask your TA if you have any questions about what we are looking for. Bear in mind that the rubric is primarily designed to give you specific feedback on different aspects of your work, rather than as the primary basis of your grade – your final mark will not be determined by simply aggregating where you place on each of these criteria.
*If answering question 1, please choose from one of the following treaties:
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