States report to the UN Human Rights Council every four-and-a-half years and receive its recommendations, which they can either "accept" or "note".
Arguably Africa's most powerful diplomatic player, South Africa is now backing out of the world's most important mechanism for bringing war criminals to justice.
An abundance of natural resources has helped Kazakhstan attract billions in investments. Despite its booming economy, the government is unlikely to move towards democracy any time soon.
Mexico has signed every international human rights treaty, but abuses are still rife.
It is inevitable that Australia will, in the not-too-distant future, allow two people to marry regardless of their gender. But which prime minister will get to claim this as their legacy?
Like the League of Nations before it, the UN is often dismissed as a powerless talking shop or a proxy for the great powers. It's much more than that.
Only by listening to local LGBT activists in hostile environments can the West stand up for human rights worldwide.
Donald Trump’s confusion about rights is perhaps no greater than that of many people, who are given little reason by political leaders to understand rights seriously.
The Non-Aligned Movement member states enjoy cohesion on few issues. Historically, their heterogeneity ranged from absolute monarchs to socialist presidents.
Even if the war in Syria is somehow brought to a close, prosecuting IS members for the crimes they've committed won't be easy.
While Indonesia's Constitutional Court deliberates whether casual sex should be outlawed, the government plans to ban gay dating apps.
In an increasingly mobile society and economy, the international governance of migrant labour lags way behind the forces of globalisation.
The people of the Philippines and their president know all too well the hypocrisy of being lectured by the United States about violence, human rights and democracy.
Slavery is making a comeback, thanks to Islamic State and Boko Haram. But the UN can help.
Calling Barack Obama a 'son of a whore' was just another PR disaster for a country already subject to lazy stereotypes.
It is no threat to UK sovereignty and protects vulnerable citizens – so why replace the Human Rights Act?
Until 2013, Australian state and territory laws allowed forcing people into psychiatric treatment if it was thought necessary to protect them from serious harm – even if they competently refused it.
Recent developments in the US suggest it might be time for Australia to rethink its reliance on private prisons.
To understand Rodrigo Duterte’s rise to power and the public support for killing drug dealers and users, we need to distinguish the empirical from the normative – the 'what is' from 'what should be'.
Does including torture or other human rights violations in video games trivialize the actions? Or might it force us to think more critically about them?