Today it is usually not long before a problem gets expressed as a
human rights issue. An appeal to human rights in the face of
injustice can be a heartfelt and morally justified demand for some,
while for others it remains merely an empty slogan.
Taking an international perspective and focusing on highly topical
issues such as torture, arbitrary detention, privacy, health and
discrimination, this Very Short Introduction will help readers to
understand for themselves the controversies and complexities behind
this vitally relevant issue. Looking at the philosophical
justification for rights, the historical origins of human rights
and how they are formed in law, Andrew Clapham explains what our
human rights actually are, what they
might be, and where the human rights movement is heading.
Andrew Clapham is a Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the Director of the new Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He teaches international human rights law and public international law.
Preface 1. Looking at rights 2. The historical development of international human rights 3. Human rights foreign policy and the role of the UN 4. The international crime of torture 5. Legitimate restrictions and questions of freedom 6. Balancing rights - the issue of privacy 7. Food, education, health, housing and work 8. Discrimination and equality 9. The death penalty Final remarks References Further reading Annex: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights