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Human rights are commonly defined as a particular set of fundamental rights possessed by every individual based on his or her humanity. Children are of course human beings too and, therefore, also have all human rights. Nonetheless, a specific subset of human rights for children has been identified and codified as children’s rights. In what follows, the different schools of thought on human rights are briefly discussed, core legal instruments and their monitoring are introduced, and some of the debates on and within human rights are highlighted.

There is no uniform understanding or definition of human rights. Marie-Bénédicte Dembour has identified four schools of thought: for some, human rights are a given (natural school), for others, they are agreed upon (deliberative school), fought for (protest school), ...

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