Human rights treaty bodies are required, by virtue of their mandate, to apply the human rights listed within their respective treaties. They have not hesitated to do so for cases relating to hostilities during armed conflict. Human rights violations are also subject to the scrutiny of UN Charter bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly and the Security Council, as well as similar regional bodies. The result is that it is impossible to consider nuclear weapons without analysing their possible effects in the light of HRL. This chapter first outlines the main factors pertinent to the application of HRL to armed conflict situations, including issues relating to jurisdiction. Afterwards, it will examine the most relevant human rights that would be affected by any use of nuclear weapons, most notably the right to life, but also rights relevant to the suffering they cause and their adverse effects on health.
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