Scientific Essay from the year 2006 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: Public International Law and Human Rights, grade: 1,0, Ruhr-University of Bochum (Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict), course: European Master Programme, 19 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: India stands today at a crucial crossroad in its path towards greater social progress and actualization of children's and women rights, both of which are inextricably linked to each other, and to which the Government - according to the Constitution and ratification of international treaties - is deeply committed. Still, the situation of India's women and children is marked by diversity and persistent disparities and nearly two centuries of colonialism and many more centuries of a rigid caste system, have 'maintained a stubborn barrier to meaningful social transformation.' International human rights law has been designed to protect the full range of human rights required for people to have a full, free, safe, secure and healthy life. Health care is seen as one of the fundamental principles of the global human rights system, and the right to live a dignified life can never be attained without it. Since women and children's health is strongly linked to their status in Indian society, a strong focus must lay on the foundation of women and children's right to health, as it is written down in several international agreements and treaties India has ratified. The primary basis of the United Nations activities to promote, protect and monitor human rights and fundamental freedoms is the International Bill of Human Rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and its two optional protocols. When a State ratifies one of the Covenants, it accepts a solemn responsibility to apply each of the obligations embodied therein and to ensure the compatibility of their national laws with their international duties.