Human Rights

  1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography


A right which is believed to belong to every person

Oxford Dictionaries, http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/human%2Bright?q=human+right (accessed on March 23, 2012).

  1. Fundamental rights, especially those believed to belong to an individual and in whose exercise a government may not interfere, as the rights to speak, associate, work, etc.
  2. The rights of individuals to liberty, justice, etc
  3. Freedom from arbitrary interference or restriction by governments. The term encompasses largely the same rights called civil liberties or civil rights but often suggests rights that have not been recognized.

Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/human+rights?s=t (accessed on March 23, 2012)

“Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.”

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx (accessed on March 23, 2012)

Synonym: fundamental rights

French translation: Droits humains, Droits fondamentaux, Droits de la personne, Droits de l’Homme


Examples and/or Illustrations

“Human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression; and social, cultural and economic rights including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to work and receive an education.  Human rights are protected and upheld by international and national laws and treaties.”

Amnesty International USA, http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/human-rights-basics (accessed on March 23, 2012)


Other Useful Sources

United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/  (accessed on March 23, 2012)

Amnesty International, Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico, AMR41/014/201480, 2010, 48. Available from: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/amr410142010eng.pdf (accessed on March 23, 2012) 

Human Rights Council, The situation of migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing recent events in North Africa – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,  A/HRC/18/54, September 2011, 17. Available from: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G11/156/05/PDF/G1115605.pdf?OpenElement (accessed on March 23, 2012).

Human Rights Watch, Greece – the EU’s Dirty Hands: Frontex Involvement in Ill-Treatment of Migrant Detainees, ISBN 1-56432-812-0, 2011, 64. Available from: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/greece0911webwcover_0.pdf (accessed on March 23, 2012).

Human Rights Watch, Ukraine – Buffeted in the Borderland: The Treatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Ukraine, ISBN: 1-56432-716-7, December 2010, 130. Available from: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ukraine1210WebVersion.pdf (accessed on March 23, 2012).

United Nations – Human Rights Section, http://www.un.org/en/rights/ (accessed on March 23, 2012)



Bogusz, Barbara, Irregular migration and human rights: theoretical, European, and international perspectives, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2004, 462 pages.

Cholewincki, Ryszard Ignacy, Guchteneire, Paul F.A. and Antoine Pécoud, Migration and human rights: the United Nations Convention on Migrant Worker’s Rights, UNESCO Publishing, 2009, 452 pages.

Donelly, Jack, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, Cornell University Press, 2003, 290 pages.

Forsythe, David P., Encyclopedia of human rights, volume 1, Oxford University Press, 200, 2672 pages.

Orend, Brian, Human Rights: Concept and Context, Broadview Press, 2002, 272 pages

Staudt, Kathleen A., Payan, Tony and Anthony Kruszewski, Human rights along the U.S.-Mexico border: gendered violence and insecurity, University of Arizona Press, 2009, 230 pages.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR Manual on Refugee Protection and the European Convention on Human Rights (April 2003, Updated August 2006), August 2006, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3f4cd5c74.html (accessed 2 May 2012).


Other related words (may be concepts):