Human Rights Worldwide

A Reference Handbook

by Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat


Torture, genocide, discrimination, social security, and sustainable development. These are some of the issues central to human rights debates. What are the boundaries of state sovereignty? When and how can the international community interfere to protect the citizens of a state? What has been the human rights impact of the U.S.? Is the U.S. government above the international law?

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Cover image for Human Rights Worldwide

June 2006


Pages 313
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties
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This work offers an insightful guide to the global struggle for human rights, the problems and shortcomings of the international human rights regime, and the resources essential to human rights studies.

From royal decrees in the ancient kingdoms of Persia and Babylon to the latest controversies over reform of the United Nations, establishing international human rights norms has been a recurrent, if sometimes elusive, objective in world affairs.

Internationally and domestically, controversies over human rights continue to fuel endless debate in politics, legal discourse, and the media. International human rights norms and treaties have helped to put Balkan war criminals behind bars, but genocidal acts continue in other parts of the world. Can governments, equipped with coercive power, eliminate human rights abuses? Who will counterbalance the increasing power of transnational corporations? How effective are the NGOs? Do human rights become a luxury under threats to the national security?


  • Includes reproductions of key human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Contains easily accessible tables setting out the status of various nations in relation to the world's key human rights treaties


  • Summarizes and analyzes the key debates and controversies in the modern human rights movement
  • Explores the economic and political factors underpinning human rights controversies and the ways in which human rights concerns have been used as a pretext for wars and geopolitical squabbles
  • Charts the emergence of human rights treaties and declarations from the Charter of Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE to the Charter of Fundamental Rights adopted by the European Union in the year 2000
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about. Visit the entire list of titles in the series at


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat is professor of political science and women's studies at Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY. Her published works include Democracy and Human Rights in Developing Countries, Deconstructing Images of 'The Turkish Woman', and Non-State Actors in the Human Rights Universe.

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