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, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and Professor of Public International Law, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva