Can Human Rights NGOs Be Trusted in the Corridors of the United Nations and International Criminal Justice Institutions?

  • Lyal S. SungaEmail author
Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)


Governments around the world have been shortening the leash on human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) watchdogs. Some see NGOs working in the field of human rights, and more recently, those working to fight impunity for serious violations, as Trojan Horses for foreign intervention in their internal affairs. Many worry that NGOs dictate United Nations (UN) human rights and international criminal justice policy, force a Western agenda on countries of the Global South and undermine their national security and sovereignty. Have human rights NGOs become too numerous and too powerful in international and regional policy-making fora? Are they accountable to anyone? Are they really objective and independent? To discover whether or not human rights NGOs can be trusted in the corridors of the UN and international criminal justice institutions, Lyal S. Sunga looks beyond rhetoric and reaction to explore how and why human rights NGOs came to acquire the influence they currently wield, the kinds of NGO issue states argue about in the UN accreditation process, and the many ways in which NGOs interact with the UN human rights system and international criminal justice institutions.


United Nations Security Council International Criminal Court Nongovernmental Organization Foreign Agent 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian LawLundSweden

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