Aistė Augustauskaitė


Contemporary international human rights law and the establishment of the United Nations have important historical antecedents. Concern over the protection of certain minority groups was raised by the League of Nations at the end of the First World War. However, the League floundered because the United States refused to join and because the League failed to prevent Japan’s invasion of China and Manchuria and Italy’s attack on Ethiopia. It finally died with the onset of the WWII. The idea of human rights emerged stronger after WWII. The extermination by Nazi Germany of over six million Jews, Sinti and Romani (gypsies), homosexuals, and persons with disabilities horrified the world. With the beginning of the UN, countries started ratifying various human rights instruments that were supposed to protect individuals. Unfortunately, significant number of countries do not want to be bound by the international treaties to the full extent, therefore the make crucial reservations that create danger to the protection of human rights. In this article the author analyses specific reservations that are being done to selected international human rights treaties and is looking for the answer whether the regime of reservations described in Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties can be fully applied to those human rights treaties. The author also discusses if the reservations that are incompatible with the object and purpose of the treaty can be made and what consequences they may bring. For this reason the author describes the practice of the state parties under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty was chosen not only because it lays down the most significant principles of the protection of children rights but also due to the great number of reservations made to the fundamental provisions of this treaty. The regulation laid down in Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties creates difficulties for the state parties and withdrawal of reservations seems to be more problematic in reality than it is in theory. In order to find the solutions, author analyses whether the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties regime works properly within the mechanism of making reservations to the human rights treaties.