Extraterritorial human rights obligations

About the Project

States are increasingly in a position to influence human rights of persons living outside their territory – this is due to inter alia technological progress, the developments of new weapons and closer trade relationships. States are increasingly – not least since 9/11 – willing to act extraterritorially. In this context the question arises to what extent extraterritorially acting States are obliged under international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights of those persons. Despite the rise in extraterritorial activities and/or activities with extraterritorial implications those questions have not been solved yet.

The aim of this research project is to find out under what circumstances international human rights treaties (with regard to civil and political rights but also economic, social and cultural rights) and the Grundgesetz [Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany] oblige States to respect and ensure human rights of persons whose human rights are affected and who reside abroad. Apart from that, questions relating to the relationship between the extraterritorial application of human rights and humanitarian law and relating to possible complaints and remedial mechanisms for victims of extraterritorial human rights violations are dealt with.

Project Data

Country: International (völkerrechtliche Studie mit Fokus auf Deutschland)
Persons involved:
Margit Ammer
Contact persons:
Margit Ammer
Lead Organisation:
German Institute of Human Rights
Project start:
Project end:
Project completed:
Funded by:
German Institute of Human Rights
Programme Line LBI-GMR:
Asylum and Migration