Glossary Term

Human Rights

Human rights are a means to a life in dignity. Human rights are universal and inalienable: they cannot be given, nor taken away. In an emergency context, key human rights, such as non-discrimination, protection and the right to life, take immediate priority, while the progressive realization of other rights may rely on available resources. As education is instrumental to protection, non-discrimination, and survival, it must be seen as a key human right. International human rights law is the body of international legal treaties and normative standards that govern states' obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights at all times, including during emergencies. During conflict, international humanitarian, and criminal law also apply. These treaties and standards regulate hostilities, protect civilians, and place duties on actors who may challenge, supplant, or act on behalf of the state. Refugee law sets out government obligations towards persons displaced across international boundaries due to the fear of persecution or armed conflict.