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Human Rights Regionally: Middle East

For anyone looking for more specific human rights resources based on location.


The Middle East as a region does not have an intergovernmental human rights system. Therefore a lot of human rights law and practice takes place at a local level and through the adoption of United Nations human rights provisions.

In 1994 an Arab Charter of Human Rights was adopted by the League of Arab Nations and signed by all members (Jordan. United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Djibouti. Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic. Somalia. Iraq, Oman. Palestine, Qatar, Comoros, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen), and this has been amended and added to via various resolutions the latest version is from 2004. The Charter allows for the election of a Committee of Experts to make state reports and comment on any changes to the Charter.

On 17th January 1998 an Arab Human Rights Commission was established by human rights advocates from different Arab states to promote the advancement of human rights without any political or religious affiliation. The Commission relies on the rights laid out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There is also a Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the Islamic Council of Europe in 1981. All these documents can be found translated into English on the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library website.

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Governmental Organizations