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Duty bearers in the international community

The arguments for constitutional amendment/legislation with the most leverage are those that seek the domestic enactment of ratified international conventions. For example, any government that has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) since its adoption in 1990 (every country in the world except the USA and Somaliland) is legally bound to comply with its provisions. Such a State has agreed to ‘undertake all appropriate legislative measures necessary to implement the rights contained in the Convention’ (CRC Article 4).

Even where a country has not ratified a treaty, it is still worthwhile attempting to push your government to enact legislation based on its provisions or general comments, as these are clear indicators of global standards.

Consult the provisions of the global and regional treaties in the reference documents. The merits of each are outlined there and are useful indicators as to how the right can be framed.

The anti-discrimination provisions in many international human rights treaties list the groups of people which have traditionally been subject to discriminatory practice. However, new groups are increasingly being excluded from education or are being more readily recognised as disadvantaged groups. An exhaustive list can be found in the reference documents – it is important to ensure the groups that are at risk in your country are acknowledged and their rights safeguarded.