In this globalised world, human rights violations are cross-borders. Decisions, actions or inactions taken by a country can harm other countries and their people’s life. Today, we face the challenge of ensuring that States’ decisions, actions or inactions do not hinder human rights protection elsewhere. These are defined as extraterritorial obligations.
The arms trade and the extraordinary amount of profit a war can create is a good example to demonstrate how extraterritorial obligations could set up the rules for a framework respecting human rights.
A lot of money is invested in militarism. Those profiting from the production of arms have an interest in sustaining the system of war without paying attention to the human costs. WILPF works to hold states accountable to their human rights obligations, even outside the nation. We challenge war profiteering through extraterritorial obligations.
In order to ensure that human rights are respected everywhere, accountability is key. WILPF has, in the past, brought its concerns of human rights violations to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a means of recognising extraterritorial obligations with Human Rights Law. The Committee consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world. It reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, dignity, and the equal rights of men and women.