Human rights protection

The treaties and other international documents relevant to international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general are called International human rights instruments.

They can be classified into two categories:
1. declarations, adopted by bodies such as the United Nations General Assembly, which are not legally binding, although they may be politically so as soft law, and
2. conventions, which are legally binding instruments concluded under international law.
International treaties and even declarations can, over time, obtain the status of customary international law.

International human rights instruments can be divided further into global instruments, to which any state in the world can be a party, and regional instruments, which are restricted to states in a particular region of the world.