The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) succeeded in raising the issue of human rights abuses in Northern Ireland at the international level and, by doing so, brought about significant improvements in human rights conditions. This was accomplished through CAJ’s utilization of the Committee Against Torture—one of the mechanisms available through the United Nations for monitoring governments that have signed international conventions.
In order to use these international mechanisms effectively, a number of supporting tactics were necessary, including writing submissions to the Committee, lobbying in Geneva and monitoring the implementation and impact that the reports and recommendations of Committee Against Torture have had on Northern Ireland. International mechanisms can be a powerful and effective tool for human rights organizations to leverage for change, especially when they have encountered significant obstacles and opposition at the local and national level.
Year of Publication: 2004
Author(s): Paul Mageean