Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 22 - March 2021 عربى
Terminology Corner
Human right

A human right is any basic entitlement or freedom inherent to every person by virtue of her/his intrinsic value as a human being equally to all others. A human right is, therefore, any entitlement or freedom required for a natural person to live in dignity and wellbeing. These basic rights are universal such that they are grounded in moral and philosophical values shared across all regions, civilizations and social groups such as dignity, fairness, equality, personal autonomy, mutual respect and social responsibility. These values and corresponding human rights are defined and protected by law, including international law.

Among the great achievements of the United Nations has been the codification of human rights in legal instruments that define most of these indispensable entitlements and freedoms to which all people aspire, as well as the corresponding duties and obligations of states and governments to respect, protect and fulfill (promote, facilitate and assist) their realization.

First enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), subsequent human rights treaties (Covenants, Conventions and their accompanying Protocols) define the basic obligations of states and their successive governments. Human rights are general categorized as civil, cultural, economic, political and social. However, human rights, their underlying concepts and implementation are indivisible, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Human rights are always evolving and developing through practice and jurisprudence, specifying their normative content and the corresponding obligations of states and their organs to ensure their progressive realization.

 



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