Int'l Law: 100 Ways it Shapes Our Lives
The "100 Ways" project was conceived from the proposition that international law not only exists but also penetrates more deeply and broadly into everyday life than is generally recognized. One-hundred examples of this fact were identified by ASIL members, vetted by a small group of experts, and organized into seven chapters: daily life, leisure, travel, commerce, health and the environment, personal liberty, and public safety and security. This list has proved a useful education tool for non-expert audiences, from students and the public to judges and policymakers. The resource is free to download in PDF form , and reproduction for educational purposes with due acknowledgement is permitted.
Over a decade has passed since we published the first edition of the 100 Ways to mark the centennial of the American Society of International Law. The Society's mission—to foster the study of international law and to promote international relations on the basis of law and justice—is even more critical today than when the 100 Ways was first issued.
But while many of the original Ways are as valid today as they were when the publication was first issued, the dynamism of international law required that we review and update the Ways to reflect the progressive development of the law, the evolution of international institutions, and the relative importance of different areas today versus 10 years ago. You will find new Ways sprinkled throughout the different categories, with many of them updated. Whether it is "driving with the help of a Global Positioning System (GPS)" (Way 6), "Banning medical experiments, like the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, conducted on people without their consent" (Way 38), global climate change (Way 54), or "fighting human trafficking" (Way 90), we seek to illustrate the many ways, often unseen and unappreciated, that international law permeates our lives, protecting, enabling, securing, and facilitating our activities in different spheres.
The reader will also find the Ways organized in slightly different categories than in the original publication. As before, we have chapters that illustrate the role of international law in daily life, at leisure and in the world, and away from home, and in public health and the environment. "Liberty" has been renamed "liberty and fundamental rights", "commercial life" is now "economic opportunities and commercial life", "public safety" is now "public safety and social development", and we have added a new category for "peace and security."
The Ways in this booklet illustrate the many forms that international law takes—treaties, other types of international agreements, custom and practice, and even so-called "soft law", as well as the varied institutions that deal with the myriad cross-border issues that arise in today's world. They demonstrate the many, sometimes subtle, but often critical, ways in which international law is embedded in our lives. They also illustrate the dynamism of international law and the extent to which people and countries turn to it as a tool to address problems, manage risks, and further their interests. That is not to say international law offers a solution for every problem that has transnational dimensions, or that the development of international law will always keep pace with the emergency of new and complex global challenges. One need only think of cybersecurity and the digital revolution and how quickly data and information move across borders today to realize that the work of building a well-functioning system of international laws and institutions is never done. But the effort to establish and maintain such a system remains the best means yet devised to build secure and prosperous communities and promote the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Given the accelerating pace of change, 100 Ways 2.0 will eventually give way to 3.0. But for now I hope you find this updated and streamlined version of the 100 Ways as useful a tool as the original Ways proved to be. We would love to hear from you about this booklet: What is your favorite Way? Are there other areas we should be highlighting? What are the gaps in international law that concern you? What can we do to further educate people about the role of international law in making our universe safer, more navigable, more dependable? Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, thanks are due to our members and leaders who are responsible for 100 Ways 2.0: Anna Spain Bradley and Perry Bechky led the project, with assistance from Marija Dordeska, Charles di Leva, Rahim Moloo, Bruce Rashkow, and Alison Dundes Renteln, and further input and support from Catherine Amirfar, Sean Murphy and Kal Raustiala. Thanks, as always, to executive director Mark Agrast and the Tillar House staff, including deputy executive director Wes Rist and director of communications and technology James Steiner. They have advanced the vision of this project, and their work updating, clarifying and streamlining the Ways have made this a better product. The Society benefits from the tremendous talent and expertise of its members, and this project reflects that fact.
Lucinda A. Low
President, American Society of International Law
- Setting one globally recognized system for telling time. By establishing the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time, later updated to "universal time" (Final Act of the International Meridian Conference, 1884).
- Mailing a letter or package reliably and easily to anyone in the world. By ensuring a universal postal network in which you can buy a postage stamp in your home country that will be accepted for mail delivery in all countries (Constitution of the Universal Postal Union, 1964).
- Driving safer cars. By adopting global safety standards for automobiles (notably through the Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment, and Parts Which Can Be Fitted and/or Used on Wheeled Vehicles, 1998).
- Living in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and other parts of the United States acquired by treaty, most famously the Louisiana Purchase. As the result of treaties with France (1803), Spain (1821), and Russia (1867).
- Adopting foreign-born children safely and fairly. By establishing a system for governments to cooperate in inter-country adoptions to protect the best interests of the child (Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, 1993).
- Driving with the help of a Global Positioning System (GPS). By creating a worldwide communication network and preventing governments from claiming exclusive rights to places where satellites are located in geostationary orbit (Constitution of the International Telecommunications Union, 1865; Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, 1967).
- Fixing the length of a second with the extreme precision needed to allow cell phone networks to operate. As a result of a decision by the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures (1967), under the auspices of the International Office of Weights and Measures (est. 1875).
- Using the same apps and software worldwide. By providing rights above and beyond ordinary copyright protection, such as rights of distribution and rental, to authors in the digital environment (World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, 1996).
- Watching live news and events from around the world on TV and mobile devices. By providing equal access to the international satellite communications network, as stated in UN General Assembly Resolution 1721 of 1961.
- Eating a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in winter. By reducing barriers to agricultural trade under various agreements (most notably the Uruguay Round Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, 1994).
- Buying tequila with confidence that it comes from Mexico. As a result of rules recognizing that certain foods have unique geographical origins, such as the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registrations (1958) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994).
- Buying a greater variety of goods, often at more competitive prices, such as flowers from Colombia on Valentine's Day. By improving market access for goods through multilateral and regional agreements like Uruguay Round Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (1994) and the bilateral trade agreement with Colombia (2012).
- Eating your tuna sandwich knowing it was made from fish caught without killing dolphins. By establishing the International Dolphin Conservation Program (1999) to limit harm to dolphins during fishing of yellowfin tuna.
- Choosing from a greater variety of wines from countries like Australia, Chile, and South Africa, and promoting wine exports. By standardizing regulatory requirements to facilitate trade in wine while allowing regulation to protect health (Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological Practices, 2001).
- Making it easier to have important documents like birth certificates and diplomas recognized in more than 100 countries. By authenticating the document with a widely-accepted certification known as an apostille (Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, 1961).
- Resolving cross-border child custody disputes and abduction cases more easily and consistently. By requiring recognition in other countries of custody rights established in the country where the child lived (Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980).
- Viewing whales in the oceans surrounding Canada, the Caribbean and Antarctica due to international efforts that protect whales from hunting and habitat depletion. By creating marine sanctuaries and controlling whale hunting to help prevent the extinction of the species (Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946).
- Watching your favorite singer or band on a worldwide concert tour, or a foreign athlete on your favorite sports team. By enabling athletes and entertainers to perform outside their own countries without the income they earn being taxed two times (as a result of a network of double taxation agreements).
- Watching or playing in fairer Olympic Games and Para-Olympic Games. By establishing rules against performance-enhancing drugs and a procedure to resolve disputes about doping through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (International Convention against Doping in Sport, 2007).
- Reading Harry Potter books or watching the movies. By giving author J.K. Rowling the same protection for her literary works abroad as she receives at home (Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1971).
- Traveling on safer cruise ships. By mandating safer ships and safety procedures, with regard to construction, equipment, seaworthiness, the use of signals, and the maintenance of communications (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974).
- Visiting cultural heritage sites, such as Angkor Wat, the Egyptian Pyramids, Machu Picchu, or Petra. By preserving natural, cultural, and heritage sites through a series of treaties and the protective work of UNESCO.
- Seeing a touring exhibit of art from China or Egypt. As the result of bilateral cultural exchange agreements or the international Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970).
- Saving unique and iconic species (like giant sea turtles and polar bears) and habitats (like the Everglades). As a result of conservation agreements like the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971), the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears (1973), and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (2001).
- Increasing the likelihood that the movie "The March of the Penguins" could be filmed again decades from now. By preserving Antarctica's natural environment (Antarctic Treaty, 1959, and its 1991 protocol on environmental protection).
- Seeing pandas at zoos in the United States as part of a breeding program to preserve the species. As a result of bilateral agreements between China and the United States, negotiated in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1973).
- Flying shorter, more direct routes to international destinations. As the result of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944), which permits aircraft to fly across the territories of nearly 200 parties.
- Traveling with relative ease, simply by having a passport. By using a standardized document – your passport – that virtually all countries accept under standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, 1944) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
- Protecting international flights from hijacking and terrorism. As a result of a series of treaties to promote security of aircrafts and airports, starting with the Tokyo Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (1963).
- Getting an up-to-date weather forecast about your destination before you travel. By fostering cooperation in collecting and disseminating worldwide weather data, as provided for by the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization (1947).
- Making it possible for you to drive a car in another country.By establishing a standardized international driver's permit, which is recognized by most countries around the world (UN Convention on International Road Traffic, 1949).
- Requiring all ships at sea to come to the aid of a ship in distress. As a result of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (1974).
- Knowing you can file a lawsuit against a foreign airline in your home country if you are injured or lose a loved one due to an accident. By standardizing the liability regimes under which airlines operate (Montreal Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 1999).
- Making torture a crime in nations around the world and requiring governments to prosecute or extradite alleged offenders. Providing victims of torture a right to compensation and prohibiting other governments from returning people to a country where they are in danger of torture. As a result of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- Making it illegal to force children to serve as fighters in the military or armed groups. As a result of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and its Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (2000).
- Establishing your right to meet with government officials from your home country if you are arrested abroad. By requiring that you be informed, if you are arrested in another country, that you have a right to inform and meet with your consulate (Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963).
- Helping to protect persons from being prosecuted for advocating political change. By excluding from virtually all bilateral and multilateral extradition treaties an obligation to extradite persons when they are charged with political offenses, such as criminalizing political advocacy as "treason."
- Banning medical experiments, like the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, conducted on people without their consent. Due to international treaties that prohibit such practices (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966).
- Making travel within the European Union easier by allowing more people to move across borders without passports or visas. By guaranteeing the free movement of persons (Schengen Agreement, 1985; Treaty of Amsterdam, 1997).
- Eradicating the spread of harmful diseases, such as diphtheria or the measles, by making vaccines available around the world, including to communities that cannot afford them. Due to the work of the World Health Organization (1948), the UN Development Program (1966) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (2000), which work to vaccinate communities in need and develop new vaccines that stop the spread of infectious disease.
- Reducing the chances that your salad is contaminated with e. coli and other harmful bacteria. As a result of food safety standards for over 200 foods and safety limits for more than 3000 food containers (the Codex Alimentarius Commission,1963; the International Plant Protection Convention, 1951; and the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, 1994).
- Reducing the harmful effects of tobacco.By establishing a comprehensive international framework for tobacco control (the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (2003) and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (2012)).
- Working to prevent the spread of epidemics by requiring all nations to report outbreaks of deadly diseases, such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, to the World Health Organization. By establishing a global system of surveillance and response against public health emergencies of international concern (the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (2005)).
- Preserving natural sources of medicine, such as morphine derived from the plant Papver somniferum or antibiotics derived from the fungi Penicillium chrysogenum, that may one day save your life. By protecting wild fauna and flora and recognizing that such species may yield medicines that can treat human illness and disease (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 1973; the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992).
- Increasing the availability of patented pharmaceuticals at your pharmacy or drug store.By permitting governments to allow companies to manufacture generic drugs from patented drugs or import proprietary drugs from third countries (the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, 1994).
- Preventing birth defects caused by mercury, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. By prohibiting and eliminating the production and use of toxic chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, and dioxin that can harm human health (the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, 1998; the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 2001; and the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 2013).
- Preventing hazardous waste spills. By requiring governments to take measures to prevent illegal transport and disposal of hazardous waste across borders (the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989; and the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa, 1991).
- Requiring the nuclear energy plant that produces your electricity to follow strict safety standards. By establishing international safeguards monitored by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency and coordinating international assistance in cases of nuclear crises (the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1956; the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, 1986; the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, 1986; the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, 1986; the Convention on Nuclear Safety, 1994; and the Convention on Nuclear Safety, 1994).
- Drinking water free from pollution and harmful contamination. By improving water quality through protections for transboundary rivers, lakes, and other waterways (the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, 1992; and its Protocol on Water and Health, 1999; as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997)).
- Reducing acid rain and the harmful health effects it causes by regulating air pollution across national borders. By requiring nations to reduce the emissions of some pollutants that make up transboundary air pollution (the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, 1979, and its Protocols).
- Protecting the ozone layer of the atmosphere so it can continue to shield the Earth from harmful ultraviolet light.By banning and reducing the production and use of chemicals that erode ozone (the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, 1985; the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, 1987; and various amendments to the Montreal Protocol, most recently the Kigali Amendment; 2016).
- Protecting the Great Lakes from water pollution and invasive species such as Zebra Mussels and Sea Lampreys. By monitoring water quality and restoring the biological, chemical and physical integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem (the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1972, and additional protocols; and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, 2010).
- Enjoying a day at the beach without worrying that the seawater is contaminated by industrial waste. By reducing land-based marine pollution harmful to health and the environment and by regulating responsibility for vessels at sea, including restrictions on ocean dumping (the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources, 1974; the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982; and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and its 1978 amendment).
- Encouraging global action to combat the catastrophic consequences of manmade climate change. Through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992), the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1997), and the Paris Agreement (2015).
- Promoting safe ship operations in the Arctic while also preventing the spillage of oil, sewage and liquid chemicals into the ocean. By establishing the "Polar Code" formally known as the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, Section on Environmental Provisions, 2015.
- Promoting a more peaceful world by reducing wars between nations. By outlawing war and fostering collective security (the United Nations Charter, 1945).
- Providing nations with methods and institutions to settle disputes peacefully. Through agreements facilitating negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication (such as the United Nations Charter, 1945; and the Statute of the International Court of Justice, 1945).
- Fostering national security through military alliances. As a result of regional alliances like the North Atlantic Treaty (1949) and bilateral alliances like the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security (1960).
- Ensuring that the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies may provide humanitarian assistance during times of armed conflict. As a result of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field (1864) and related instruments supporting the establishment and operation of International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
- Working to prevent and prosecute genocide. By requiring nations to prosecute alleged perpetrators of genocide before international and national courts (the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948; and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998).
- Banning cruel and inhumane weapons such as sarin gas or land mines shaped like children's toys. By prohibiting the production and use of toxic chemicals, conventional weapons such as booby-traps, certain landmines and biological weapons and providing for extensive measures to verify compliance with these obligations (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, 1972; Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, 1983, and its annexes; Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, 1992; the Convention for the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, 1997).
- Protecting prisoners of war from torture, starvation, and other inhumane treatment. By mandating that nations who take prisoners of war provide wounded and captured enemy military personnel with medical treatment and humane living conditions (Geneva Convention I for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Sick Armed Forces in the Field, 1949; Geneva Convention II for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea, 1949; and Geneva Convention III Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949).
- Keeping Antarctica peaceful. By limiting the use of arms and military activity in Antarctica and promoting cooperation for exploration and future use (the Antarctic Treaty, 1959).
- Keeping outer space safe from weapons and other threatening behavior. By preserving outer space as a peaceful sanctuary and prohibiting the use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on a celestial body (the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, 1967).
- Reducing the number, spread, and testing of nuclear weapons. Due to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1963), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968), and the Russia-U.S. Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (2010).
- Working to prevent armed conflict and violence by regulating cross-border movement of missiles, tanks and other conventional weapons. By restricting arms sales that undermine peace or contribute to war crimes and other humanitarian violations (Arms Trade Treaty, 2013).
- Promoting military cooperation between the U.S. and other nations. By permitting and regulating the establishment of military bases in allied countries under "Status of Forces Agreements" such as the Korea-U.S. SOFA (1966).
- Knowing that the diamond in your engagement ring was not mined by children or sold to fund a war. By establishing a certification regime to keep illicit "conflict diamonds" out of diamond sales (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, 2002).
- Keeping peace in difficult circumstances, whether by separating armed groups, providing humanitarian relief, or assisting transitional governments. Through peacekeeping missions authorized by the United Nations under the UN Charter (1945).
- Making it easier to complete a business deal across borders due to the standardization of trade terms and definitions. By providing clear, standardized terms that reduce the uncertainties of cross-border transactions (for example, the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts (2010)).
- Making international sales more efficient and reliable, by relying on a uniform and fair regime for sales contracts. Through the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980) and the UN Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods (1974).
- Benefitting from a letter of credit issued to a foreign buyer to reduce the risk of nonpayment for goods sold abroad. By establishing international rules that were promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) (the Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits, 1993; and their revisions, 2007).
- Making the transport of goods by sea more efficient and less expensive. By outlawing piracy, permitting ships to sail in the waters of other countries, enabling the defense of transport ships by any nation's navy, establishing requirements for a ship's crew, and regulating cargo transactions (The Hamburg Rules, 1978; and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982; United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea, 1992; and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, 2008).
- Enforcing an arbitral award without a local court having to hear the dispute anew. By using the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) or the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (1975).
- Receiving documents and evidence located abroad in your court proceedings. By creating expedited procedures to facilitate the receipt or delivery of evidence and documents in judicial or extrajudicial matters (The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, 1965; The Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, 1970; the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol, 1975 and 1979; and the Inter-American Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad, 1975).
- Promoting a more stable international monetary system. By creating the International Monetary Fund, which monitors economic developments, gives practical help to governments to develop their abilities to promote economic growth and stability, and lends to countries facing financial problems (IMF Articles of Agreement, 1944).
- Being able to seek compensation from a foreign government that has unlawfully expropriated your property. Due to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, 1965, and related treaties protecting investments.
- Protecting your trade name or trade dress – such as the distinctive shape of a Coca Cola bottle or an Apple iPhone – from imitators. As a result of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1989).
- Protecting your patented invention or product, whether the latest software or "Post-it" notes, around the world. Through the work of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the observance of international agreements (the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, 1883, amend. 1979; the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, 1989; the Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks, 1973, amend. 1985; the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, 1957, amend. 1979; and the Convention on the Grants of European Patents, 1973).
- Working to reduce bribery, corruption and other forms of cross-border criminal activity in international business. As a result of treaties such as the Organization of American States Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, 1996; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, 1997; the Council of Europe Criminal and Civil Law Conventions on Corruption, 1999; the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000; the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, 2003; and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, 2003.
- Expediting shipments across borders by simplifying export and import processes. As a result of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (2013).
- Making securities markets safer to invest in. By developing rules and cooperating in enforcement actions intended to protect investors, promote transparent markets, and reduce fraud and other risks (International Organization of Securities Commissions and Related Principles and Agreements, 1983).
- Allowing companies to commit to submit a lawsuit to the courts in one country. By requiring courts of other countries to respect such agreements and judgments issued by the chosen court (Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, 2005).
- Preserving fisheries for future generations of fishermen and consumers. By preventing overfishing and illegal fishing through inhibiting sales of improperly harvested fish (Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing, 2009).
- Exporting corn or wheat from the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean. As a result of the rights of access to the river in the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty.
- Combating terrorism. By putting in place the legal framework for nations to combat different manifestations of terrorism, (for example, the Convention Against the Taking of Hostages, 1979; the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, 1998; the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, 1999; and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, 2005).
- Reducing the spread and use of illegal drugs and related crime. By penalizing drug trafficking, human trafficking, and money laundering (the Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971; the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988; the Global Programme against Money Laundering, 1997; and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000).
- Strengthening tools for prosecuting crime, including extradition of fugitives and sharing information available only in another country. Through global networks of extradition treaties and mutual legal assistance treaties, such as the Mexico-U.S. extradition treaty (1978) and mutual legal assistance treaty (1987).
- Requiring governments to prosecute or extradite people accused of terrorism and other serious crimes. Through numerous multilateral treaties, such as the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997).
- Fighting human trafficking. By requiring countries to penalize trafficking and to afford compensation and special protections to victims, with sensitivity to the needs of women and children (Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2000).
- Banning child prostitution and pornography. By obliging countries to act, alone and together, to stop sexual exploitation of children (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989).
- Working to eliminate discrimination against women and girls and advance gender equality. By creating U.N. Women, which provides financial and technical support to implement programs and policies to address gender inequality (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1979; U.N. General Assembly Resolution, 2010).
- Ensuring that nations provide increased protections and respect for indigenous peoples. As a result of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
- Increasing protection for national minorities. By prohibiting discrimination in employment, education, housing and access to justice (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965; Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, 1994).
- Increasing awareness about the need for more human rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. As a result of work done by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including their Report on Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2011.
- Prohibiting enslavement and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of migrant workers and their families. As a result of the International Migration Convention, 2003.
- Prohibiting discrimination in education. By forbidding governments from providing separate and unequal schooling based on gender, race or other aspects of identity (Convention Against Discrimination in Education, 1960).
- Eliminating child marriage and ensuring that marriage is entered into only by adults who give their free and full consent. Through the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, 1962.
- Changing discriminatory attitudes and approaches to people with disabilities. By increasing mechanisms through which people with disabilities can enforce their rights (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol, 2006).
Protecting and assisting people who are forced to flee persecution at home to find refuge in another country. By prohibiting governments from returning refugees to countries where their lives or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group, or political opinion (United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951).