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Lesson 4
Grammar Practice
1. Gerund or Infinitive. Г.В. Верба, Л.Г. Верба. Граматика сучасної
англійської мови, стор. 119–122.
2. Exercises: T.В. Барановська Граматика англійської мови, test. 76, pp.
122–123.
Vocabulary Practice
1. Read and translate the text.
2. Learn the unknown words.
Human Rights
First published Fri Feb 7, 2003; substantive revision Sat Nov 8, 2014
Human rights are norms that help to protect all people everywhere from severe political,
legal, and social abuses. Examples of human rights are the right to freedom of religion,
the right to a fair trial when charged with a crime, the right not to be tortured, and the
right to engage in political activity. These rights exist in morality and in law at the
national and international levels. Historical sources for bills of rights include the Magna
Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the French Declaration of the Rights of
Man and the Citizen (1789), and the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution
(1791). Early philosophical sources of the idea of human rights include Francisco Suarez
(1548–1617), Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), Samuel Pufendorf(1632–1694), John
Locke (1632–1704), and Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). The main sources of the
contemporary conception of human rights are the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights(United Nations, 1948b) and the many human rights documents and treaties that
followed in international organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of
Europe, the Organization of American States, and the African Union (on the early history
of human rights see Tierney 2001 and Griffin 2008; for the history of the Universal
Declaration see Glendon 2001, Lauren 1998, and Morsink 1999; and for the recent
history of international human rights see Moyn 2010 and Jean Cohen 2012).
The philosophy of human rights addresses questions about the existence, content, nature,
universality, justification, and legal status of human rights. The strong claims made on
behalf of human rights (for example, that they are universal, or that they exist
independently of legal enactment as justified moral norms) frequently provoke skeptical
doubts and countering philosophical defences (on these critiques see Waldron 1988 and
the entry on rights). Reflection on these doubts and the responses that can be made to
them has become a sub-field of political and legal philosophy with a substantial literature
(see the Bibliography below).
This entry includes a lengthy fifth section, International Human Rights Law and
Organizations, that offers a comprehensive survey of today's international system for the
promotion and protection of human rights.
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