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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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What Are Rights?

What Are Rights?

(p.57) 3 What Are Rights?
The International Human Rights Movement

Aryeh Neier

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at how, among those engaged in the promotion of human rights, there is general agreement that rights are an aspect of humanity. They are not dependent on such characteristics as race, nationality, or gender, nor do they depend on a person's presence within the territory of a particular political entity. Rights, most proponents agree, are ethical norms with a legal content that requires that they should be honored and enforced by public institutions. Some rights, it is generally conceded, may be temporarily abridged by the state because of exigent circumstances; others may never be violated, no matter the context or the purported justification. In the view of many of their proponents, the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Rights are indivisible.

Keywords:   human rights, humanity, ethical norms, public institutions, Universal Declaration of Rights, nationality, gender

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