The prolonged existence of non-recognized states, consequent isolation, and human rights gaps present a major concern and subject matter of this research. The objective of the thesis is to investigate how international human rights and governance can be adjusted and reformed to answer human rights challenges posed by the protracted non-recognition policies. Self-proclaimed de-facto states in Cyprus and Georgia are selected as case studies, the qualitative examination of which demonstrates the overall gaps in the existing human rights system. The gaps in human rights accountability, independent monitoring and reporting, and the application of universal human rights instruments are significant concerns that are resulting from the lengthy isolation of these regions. The thesis examines patterns of international engagement in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and northern Cyprus and its consequences from a human rights perspective. The research applies the transnational interpretation of human rights and multi-level governance as an analytical concept to develop alternative ways and solutions for the given problem. The critical analysis of the relevant literature and legal jurisprudence suggests a rethinking of state-centric attitudes in the international human rights system that will expand human rights duties over non-state actors while maintaining a balance between human rights protection and non-recognition policies.
From the methodological perspective, international human rights reports, case law, and policies of key international actors (UN and EU) were analyzed within the theoretical frameworks of transnationalization and multi-level governance. The thesis will use the qualitative analysis of secondary material/literature. Besides, interviews of human rights defenders and experts working on conflict issues were conducted to investigate first-hand information from those directly involved in human rights protection in this context. This tried to fill the informational gaps created by the lack of access to the conflict regions and the deficiency of regular independent monitoring tools. As for the conclusion, the critical analysis suggested rethinking and modifying the state-centric human rights approach, which expands the human rights duties of other actors besides the states and organizes human rights governance within the MLG concept. Furthermore, the thesis finds that transnational interpretation of key human rights concepts gives more flexible space to fit the created extraordinary situation in the human rights system.
Unrecognized de-facto states as a challenge to the universal application of human rights
- PhD thesis
- Law -- Politics and Governance