Human rights protect human beings and their dignity in war and in peacetime. These rights are protected under international law and it is the duty of states to ensure they are respected, protected and fulfilled. To this end, the United Nations has developed a body of binding conventions, all stemming from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
There are basically three distinct types of human rights:
- civil and political rights, e.g. the right to life, peaceful assembly and religious freedom
- economic, social and cultural rights, e.g. the right to work, to education, and to social security
- rights of the third generation, e.g. the right to development and to a clean and healthy environment