What are Human Rights?

•   the basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity.

•   generally accepted principles of fairness and justice.

•   those freedoms and entitlements  a person is due simply because he or she is a human being.



Categories of Human Rights

•         Civil Rights

•         Political Rights

•         Economic Rights

•         Social Rights

•         Cultural Rights


Where do rights come from?

•         Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948)

•         International Conventions and Treaties

Some International Conventions and Treaties:

  • Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) (1965; entered into force 1969)
  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (1966; entered into force 1976)
  • International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (1966; entered into force 1976)
  • Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979; entered into force 1981)
  • The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) (1984; entered into force 1987)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (1989; entered into force 1990)


Human Rights Principles

  • Equality
  • Human Dignity
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Universality
  • Indivisibility
  • Interdependency
  • Accountability/Responsibility