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The International Human Rights MovementA History$
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Aryeh Neier

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135151.001.0001

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Putting Natural Law Principles into Practice

Putting Natural Law Principles into Practice

(p.26) 2 Putting Natural Law Principles into Practice
The International Human Rights Movement

Aryeh Neier

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how a number of efforts were made to promote human rights internationally over a period of almost two centuries, from the start of the antislavery movement in Britain. However, it is possible to cite ancient roots for the principles of human rights. Hammurabi's Code, the Bible, Plato, and Aristotle must be considered among the sources for the concept of justice. The roots of thinking about rights can also be traced to non-Western sources, such as Mencius and Asoka. In the more than three centuries that followed the struggle for rights in England by John Milton, the Levellers, and other dissenters, there were episodic attempts to secure rights relevant to such grave issues as slavery, religious persecution, the subordination of women, forced labor, racial segregation, and the suppression of dissent.

Keywords:   human rights, justice, Hammurabi's Code, religious persecution, slavery, forced labor, racial segregation, dissent, women, subordination

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