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Human rights are those rights that have been identified as fundamental to all human beings, that are inalienable, and that we are entitled to simply by virtue of being human.

This entry presents a brief history of human rights and explores the awareness and corresponding value of human rights as they have evolved over the course of time. Within that rich history is the evolution of a universal recognition and codification of human rights protections, which have developed through laws, policies, and practices. The entry concludes by recognizing that controversies exist in human rights movements, particularly when considered in and between cultural contexts.

Defining Human Rights

The first known charter of human rights dates back to 539 BCE in ancient Persia; many other efforts to protect human rights ...

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