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Though international law is traditionally called “the law of nations,” it governs far more than relations between the countries of the world. International human rights law pushes the boundaries of State responsibility and allows individuals to directly demand accountability for both governmental action and inaction that violates basic human rights. International human rights treaties declare the minimum standards by which States (i.e. nation-states, or countries) are expected to comply. The theme of the 2010 Fourteenth Annual Domestic Violence Conference at Fordham Law School, “Expanding Our Vision: Human Rights, Victims’ Rights, and Approaches to Diverse Families,” for which this manual was created, underscores the growing interest amongst domestic violence lawyers and advocates in international human rights law strategies to address client needs as well as larger advocacy goals.

This Manual offers guidance on how relevant human rights treaties, instruments, jurisprudence, and other sources may be useful for domestic violence advocacy. Divided into seven chapters, it aims to serve as a quick reference for busy advocates.