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Human rights occupy a key place in international law and relations. Understanding their significance involves knowing what the current guarantees of human rights are, and how the arrangements for protecting them work. This text offers a broad survey outlining the main human rights instruments and describing how they are implemented in the United Nations, through regional institutions, in specialized agencies and elsewhere. It covers many recent developments and shows that, despite important limitations, human rights law has significant achievements and even greater potential. Substantially rewritten and updated to take into account the ending of the Cold War, this fourth edition includes such issues as the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the convention on the Rights of the Child and the role of UN Commissioner for Human Rights.