Lesson 1: History and Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights

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Lesson 1 begins by defining the term human rights. You will be introduced to the fundamental theoretical concepts of human rights and how these correspond with the actual duties of states and individuals that structure the relationships between them. The lesson traces the philosophical evolution of human rights alongside the parallel history of the modern state, which gradually converge in the years after the second world war. The final section briefly discusses the origins of the United Nations and of two indispensible documents: the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The latter, which is the first of three components of the International Bill of Human Rights, is reproduced in its entirety at the end of the lesson.

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