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Part I The Foundations of International Human Rights Law, 1 Origins and Universality

From: The Law of International Human Rights Protection (2nd Edition)

Walter Kälin, Jörg Künzli

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Minorities — Aliens, treatment — Enslavement and forced labour — Sovereignty — UN Charter

This chapter describes the conceptual foundations of international human rights protection. It begins by discussing the national origins of human rights. It then turns to the precursors of international human rights protection, covering international minimum standard of treatment of aliens; protection of minorities and prohibition of slave trade; the emergence of international humanitarian law; and the protection of the working population. Next, it describes the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is followed by a discussion of the consequences of internationalizing human rights, covering the recognition of the individual as a subject of international law; impact on the concept of state sovereignty; human rights as a factor shaping international relations; and recognition of the role of non-governmental organisations. The final section addresses the question of whether human rights is a universal concept.

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