This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Effect of Non-government Organizations on Human Rights

downloadDownload printPrint

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Conclusion
  3. Reference


Advocating, developing international human rights standards, monitoring human rights violations, service delivery and activism on human rights issues are the salient functions of several Non-government organizations (NGOs) especially in third world countries. In the globalized world order, the NGOs tend to fill the geographical and institutional gaps found between sovereign states and the international community for the people and communities who are deserved to enjoy their guaranteed rights under United Nations Human Rights Declaration (UNHRD). NGOs apply either insider or outsider strategies, often hybridized strategies to achieve their objective when they work with state authorities. It is imperative to examine the influence of these NGOs in the human rights system and how do they act effectively in different political situations. Although the increasing number and activities of NGOs and their gatherings indicate the incipient stage of global civil society’s formation, there is remarkable differences of thoughts among them like governments have. This situation restricts obtaining universal consent in human rights issues. In this essay, the effect of NGOs on the human right system is analyzed in detail.

Are you Looking For A Custom Essay about “The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights” NOW? You Found It!

Professional Writers that Guarantee an On-time Delivery


experts online

Some human rights NGOs conduct in-depth investigations globally regarding scheduled major crimes. For example, PPT is an international network of experts and social activist and deeply investigate the crimes against humanity and issues judgement on that particular case. In this context, PPT investigates whole dimensions of international crimes through research and submitted evidence. Although PPT does not have any legal authority to enforce its judgement, these judgements sound more authentic to be concerned by UN bodies for reference because of its panel’s expertness and professional reputation.

The domestic NGOs play a significant role in revealing the human rights violations of the state or majority communities to the global community and therefore the relationship with states becomes hostile because of their activities. Nonetheless, the detailed study about human rights NGOs shows that citizens’ participation in human right activities increases not only in industrialized democratic countries but also in less democratic and less industrialized countries because of the linkage to global civil society. Mostly, NGOs provide top priorities to the humanitarian issues that are otherwise unnoticed widely and they utilize impartial experts to gather facts, figures and scholarly argues. During the huge anti-Muslim riots held in Gujarat province of India in 2002, the Human Right Watch involved in the in-depth evidence collection, fact findings and recommendations within a very hostile working environment and this publicity made awareness about the vulnerability of Indian Muslims and the worldwide pressures led to the prosecution of many perpetrators involved in that riot. This is exact evidence how local NGOs could work effectively by putting humanitarian issues in their agenda-setting.

As far as third world countries are concerned, unlike first world countries, they started to decrease human right activities from 1970s, then nongovernmental human right activism arrived to the frontline to challenge state violations against human rights and to disseminate global norms of human rights as adapted by the developed world. At the same time, concerned states started to reinforce the concept of sovereignty in the guise of national integrity and security therefore they deliberately avert such NGOs. After states have almost been trivialized in the execution of sovereignty over people because of the consequences of rapid globalization, the tensions between state sovereignty and NGOs consistently exist for last decades. From the philosophical point of view, sovereignty could be explained with authority, thus authority is the given right of state by people to impose order, the right to be obliged. But, it accompanies by not only legitimate power of state and rights, but they also have to be practiced. In addition, sovereignty may be classified as absolute and non-absolute based on what state have control over its affairs.

Presently, almost all states have no absolute sovereignty, however, they have absolute sovereignty in the law and order of territory. This nature drives to the critical relationship between state having legitimate authority in controlling crime and NGOs defend the human rights of prisoners, detainees, and victims of extrajudicial trials. The Agenda of Amnesty International is the perfect emulation to examine this tension. As Clark (1995) argues since NGOs have single issue-based agenda in their function, they are effective in achieving the goals, while states have multiple functions with priorities determined by national interest. Evidently, it has been proved that states keep its dominant role in procedures and substance of interaction on key issues of sovereignty. Therefore, Human right NGOs like Amnesty International have to deal with states in the national security issues that consist uppermost priority.

Notwithstanding, nowadays it is widely accredited that unless a state’s sovereignty implies with its indispensable responsibility that the state should recognize and ensure the basic rights and dignity of all citizens, state has no ultimate power over its people. This concept provides moral justification to international communities and NGOs to intervene with state policies especially in human rights issues.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 03 ensures that everyone has the right to life, freedom and security. When Amnesty International (AI) deals against capital punishments throughout the world, its effectiveness becomes more debatable. AI is occupied with well-experienced experts and capacity to research and analysis about human right violations, further AI is the authentic source for UN. Notwithstanding, residents of retentionist nations more support to the death penalty when compared to abolitionist nations. Sometimes, infringement of NGOs in the domestic human rights issues is presumed as part of the international agenda to suppress and isolate the state from the international community. The Sri Lankan government’s attempts to suppress the independent operations of human rights organizations after the end of civil war under the counterterrorism act of 2016 show exactly what I mean in the previous paragraph. In these particular situations, NGOs work on human rights may end up with unfavorable ramifications on the human rights.

According to the Charter of United Nations 1945 and UDHR 1948, it is accredited that women’s rights are human rights. The NGOs working with women’s rights have different influences in state policies and they mostly work with both domestic communities-based organizations in grass root level and INGOs. Evidently, public opinion affects the policy-making process on such matters as civil rights, government expenditure to defense, and economic policies. Domestic NGOs contribute to change public opinions on civil rights in a long-run perspective. The women activists and relevant NGOs start with public education, awareness, and field research in domestic communities and empower the women to claim their rights strongly. When it comes to policy-making strategies, local actors joint with international communities through the wide network and tend to insist governments toward favorable actions. This approach is most successful, especially in developing countries. Civil Society Collective of Sri Lanka (CCCS) which is a consortium of NGOs have worked to mitigate discrimination of women in Sri Lanka in local level and it had submitted their reports to Universal periodic review of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) along with their feasible recommendation. In this concern, successful UNHRC pressures had benefited to increase the representation of women in decision making by nominating 25 percent of women candidates in the local government elections.

The idea of human rights may be contemplated either as a legitimate aspect or convictions for the social movements, but this crucial difference is merely noticed by scholars. Many women’s rights NGOs utilize both approaches, but latter one is more sustainable to disseminate the idea in a broad sense.

It is unclear to determine the influence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgenders (LGBT) NGOs like International Lesbian Gay Association. The demand for LGBT human rights was well established with political opportunity in the European Union, but this approach did not work well in UN due to the opposition of many antagonistic states. The NGOs possess little influence in the countries where religious fundamentalism is accepted by state as governing principles. They have little access to make public awareness in these states and only strategy they follow is giving external pressure through UN bodies.

Get a Personal "The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights" Tailored Essay For You in 3 Hours!

100% Customized to Your Need with Expert Writers



In conclusion, as seen from the essay, NGOs working with human rights issues have positive influence with a significant measure in the dissemination of human rights norms, revealing state-led violations and awareness of community. The NGOs challenging with state sovereignty and security issues have to face severe limitations to make changes and many times their influence results negative effect to the community and increase the state control over their activities. NGOs follow both insider and outsider strategies to make required changes in the human rights system but its success relies on the application of outsider strategy with domestic communities’ support through appropriate agenda.


  1. Civil Society Collective in Sri Lanka, Factsheet – UPR 2017 – Sri Lanka 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review: Women’s Rights 2017, viewed 18 March 2019,
  2. Clark, AM 1995, ‘Non-governmental organizations and their influence on international society’, Journal of international affairs, pp. 507-525.
  3. Clark, AM, Friedman, EJ & Hochstetler, K 1998, ‘The sovereign limits of global civil society: a comparison of NGO participation in UN world conferences on the environment, human rights, and women’, World politics, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 1-35.
  4. Council of Europe, Compass: Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People: Human Rights Activism and the Role of NGOs 2017, viewed April 3, 2019,
  5. Evans, G & Sahnoun, M 2002, ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 81, no. 6, pp. 99-110.
  6. Goodhart, M 2016, Human Rights politics and Practice, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 432-433; 147-148.
  7. Kollman, K & Waites, M 2009, ‘The global politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights: an introduction’, Contemporary politics, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-17.
  8. Levitt, P & Merry, S 2009, ‘Vernacularization on the ground: local uses of global women’s rights in Peru, China, India and the United States’, Global Networks, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 441-461.
  9. Local Authorities Election Ordinance: Notification under Section 27F (Sri Lanka), Viewed 12 March 2019,
  10. Mckinney, B & Halpin, D 2007, ‘Talking about Australian pressure groups: Adding value to the insider/outsider distinction in combating homelessness in Western Australia’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 342-352.
  11. Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mandate and Functions 2015, Rome, Viewed 18 March 2019,
  12. Philpott, D 1995, ‘Sovereignty: An introduction and brief history’, Journal of international affairs, pp. 353-368.
  13. Powers, M 2014, ‘The structural organization of NGO publicity work: Explaining divergent publicity strategies at humanitarian and human rights organizations’, International journal of communication, vol. 8, pp. 18.
  14. Stack, S 2004, ‘Public Opinion on the Death Penalty’, International Criminal Justice Review, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 69-98.
  15. Tsutsui, K & Wotipka, CM 2004, ‘Global civil society and the international human rights movement: Citizen participation in human rights international nongovernmental organizations’, Social Forces, vol. 83, no. 2, pp. 587-620.
  16. United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human rights 2015, viewed 22 March 2019,
  17. USAID 2016, The 2016 CSO Sustainability Index for Asia, USA, viewed 07 November 2018,
  18. Van Tuijl, P 1999, ‘NGOs and human rights: Sources of justice and democracy’, Journal of International Affairs, pp. 493-512.

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
“The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021,
The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Jun. 2023].
The Effect Of Non-Government Organizations On Human Rights [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2023 Jun 6]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now