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The International Human Rights MovementA History$
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Aryeh Neier

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200989

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

What Are Rights?

What Are Rights?

Chapter:
(p.58) 3 What Are Rights?
Source:
The International Human Rights Movement
Author(s):

Aryeh Neier

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691200989.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the general agreement that rights are an aspect of humanity and are intertwined in the promotion of human rights. It clarifies that rights are not dependent on characteristics such as race, nationality, or gender, nor do they depend on a person's presence within the territory of a particular political entity. It also explains that rights are ethical norms with a legal content that requires that they should be honored and enforced by public institutions. The chapter addresses disputes over rights that question which norms warrant universal legal enforcement. It talks about the Declaration of Independence as the most sweeping concept of rights, which not only included “Life” and “Liberty” but also the “pursuit of Happiness.”

Keywords:   Humanity, human rights, political entity, ethical norms, public institutions, universal legal enforcement, Declaration of Independence

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