Human Rights: The Essential Reference

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Now, for the first time, there is a single reference work that documents the history of human rights worldwide, clearly explains each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and examines the major human rights issues facing the world today. Comprehensive in scope, Human Rights covers a broad range of human rights issues that are central to an understanding of world history and current affairs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The contributors to this volume have built a sturdy bridge that allows interested readers easy access to the main body of human rights law and practice. As a work of reference, the volume is handsomely edited, readable, and visually attractive. . . . Much more straightforward and readable than Human Rights in Political Transitions, this book merits inclusion in most reference collections on international affairs."


Library Journal

"[T]he book is an excellent source of information on the many facets of human rights. It should be valuable not only for human rights workers and activists but also for teachers, students, journalists, and anyone interested in the subject."



"High school and college students will find this one-volume encyclopedia easy to use because of its logical organization and clear writing. . . . All of the authors write clearly and without emotional overtones. The book's physical appearance is also attractive, with good use of columns and bold type. Most collections will place this resource in the Reference section, but the book as so well written that it will hold interest when read like a textbook."



"Human Rights offers balanced views and useful information on myriad issues about human rights throughout the world during the latter half of the 20th century."


Reference & User Services Quarterly

"[H]elpful resource for high school and college students who are researching human rights issues, or for researchers and librarians in need of a handy reference resource."



High school and college students will find this one-volume encyclopedia easy to use because of its logical organization and clear writing. Using the concept of human rights to organize the text, entries present first a history of human rights theory that culminates with the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights document in 1948. Other chapters offer an overview of the human rights movement, providing capsule biographies of many important and lesser-known activists. Each brief biography also cites sources for additional reading. Information is provided on governmental and independent human rights organizations, including addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and Web sites. Many portraits of individuals are provided as well as clear, profoundly moving photographs illustrating topics such as child labor, the death penalty, and homelessness. All of the authors write clearly and without emotional overtones. The book's physical appearance is also attractive, with good use of columns and bold type. Most collections will place this resource in the Reference section, but the book was so well written that it will hold interest when read like a textbook. Index. Illus. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. 1999, Oryx, 312p. PLB $89.95. Ages 15 to Adult. Reviewer: Debbie Earl

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-As most discussions in the political, economic, and social arena have a human-rights component, it is refreshing to find such a fine addition to the reference literature. This volume is divided into four sections; the first "traces the evolution of our modern concept of human rights" beginning with the ancient Greeks and continuing through World War II to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Part two is a thorough examination of this historical document, article by article. Part three provides a detailed overview of the contemporary human-rights movement through essays and alphabetical entries on various government and nongovernmental agencies as well as biographical profiles of numerous activists. The final section consists of short essays on 33 of the most pressing human-rights issues today, including: "AIDS/HIV," "Child Soldiers," the "Death Penalty," and "Indigenous Peoples." Black-and-white photographs are scattered throughout. An appendix offers the text of eight United Nations documents and an extensive index facilitates access. A specialized resource without an equal.-Marsha S. Holden, Highland Community College, Freeport, IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Nine human rights professionals, scholars, and writers trace human rights prior to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the articles of the seminal document; the modern human rights movement that it launched; and some of today's most pressing issues: from AIDS to rape as a military tactic just recently recognized as a human rights violation. Provides information on governmental and nongovernmental organizations from The Africa Fund to the World Organization Against Torture, and biographies of 39 activists (some pictured). Appends a timeline and eight UN documents, including the Declaration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573562058
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/11/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 322
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROL DEVINE is a Canadian human rights professional.

CAROL RAE HANSEN is an international affairs and education consultant in the Washington, D.C. area.

RALPH WILDE is an English barrister who is working as an academic and a practitioner in international law and human rights law.

HILARY POOLE is a writer and editor specializing in the social sciences.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Human Rights before 1948 1
Ch. 1 A History of Human Rights Theory 3
Pt. 2 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 57
Ch. 2 An Overview of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 59
Ch. 3 An Analysis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 73
Pt. 3 The Contemporary Human Rights Movement 117
Ch. 4 An Overview of the Human Rights Movement 119
Ch. 5 Governmental Organizations 133
Ch. 6 Nongovernmental Organizations 149
Ch. 7 Human Rights Activists 179
Pt. 4 Contemporary Human Rights Issues 227
Ch. 8 Contemporary Human Rights Issues 229
App. 1: Timeline 275
App. 2 United Nations Documents 277
Further Reading 295
Index 297
Contributors 312
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