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This article uses the case of South Africa to illustrate four effects of international human rights law on human rights beneficiaries. First, international human rights law acts as a constraint on state action. Second, it is a source of norms that can be incorporated into, and thus interpreted and implemented by, domestic legal institutions. Third, it acts as a direct or indirect constraint on the actions of international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Fourth, it directly empowers individual victims. The Article also uses the South African example to provide suggestions for additional areas of research and advocacy for international human rights scholars and advocates.