What are Human Rights?

It is important to have a basic understanding of Human Rights before engaging with this blog. Many of you will be very familiar with the concept but for those who are less familiar, hopefully this post will give you clarity.

Human Rights are difficult to define, but it is the belief of many that Human Rights derive from the natural law i.e, they are inherent in a person by virtue of the human personality.

If we analyse both words separately: ‘human’ and ‘rights’, we can deduce that human rights denote rights which are fundamental to every person. All rights are seen as being of equal importance and they must be protected by our legal system.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights definition is commonly cited. It set out that Human rights were:

‘basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status’.

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European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg                                                            Image – Pixabay

Human Rights are now protected by our national and international legal systems. In Ireland, they are protected in the 1937 Constitution of Ireland. They are also heavily protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR is fundamental to the case law we will be addressing on this blog. However, there remains a noticeable lack of a definition of the concept of Human Rights.

In my next post I will be addressing the Human Rights issues that surrounded President Trumps ‘travel ban’ in the U.S.A. Make sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss a thing!

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