Simple English definitions for legal terms

human rights

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A quick definition of human rights:

Human rights are basic rights that every person should have, no matter where they come from. These rights include things like the right to life, freedom, and safety. They also include things like the right to education and a good standard of living. Many countries have agreed to follow human rights laws, which are meant to protect people from being treated unfairly or cruelly. There are organizations that make sure countries follow these laws, and sometimes people who break these laws are punished. In the United States, there are also laws that protect people's human rights.

A more thorough explanation:

Human rights are basic rights that every person is entitled to, regardless of their nationality. These rights are protected by international law and aim to prevent abuses by states and ensure that people receive benefits from states.

International human rights law began after World War II, with the formation of the United Nations. Since then, many agreements and resolutions have been passed to protect human rights. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls on nations to respect the rights to life, liberty, and security, and to provide education and basic standards of living for all citizens.

Human rights agreements are legally binding on countries that sign them. Treaties such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provide the international legal framework to protect human rights. Nations that violate these agreements may face sanctions or other measures.

The United States is an example of a country that has enacted its own human rights guarantees, such as the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the laws and civil rights legislation. The US has also signed and ratified many human rights agreements.

International tribunals provide an additional avenue to ensure compliance with human rights agreements. For example, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia charged officers of the Serbian military who had allegedly committed war crimes during the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Overall, human rights are a growing body of international law that aims to protect the basic rights of all people.

HUD-1 | human trafficking


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