human rights

plural noun

Definition of human rights

: rights (such as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons

Examples of human rights in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The sanctions on Venezuela’s financial and oil sectors are designed to cripple the Maduro regime, which the U.S. has accused of human rights abuses and curtailing freedom of speech. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Evolving Venezuela Sanctions Pose Problems for Banks," 25 Feb. 2019 Now Morocco sees an average of 48 protests daily, according to the ministry for human rights. Amira El Masaiti, The Seattle Times, "Morocco: Arab Spring anniversary brings reflection, beatings," 20 Feb. 2019 Kruger advocates for gun violence prevention, human rights, and equality. Allie Holloway, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Chadwick, Laura Dern, & Diane Kruger Fight for Gun Violence Prevention," 20 Feb. 2019 Religious freedom is a basic human right, including for prisoners. Luke Goodrich, WSJ, "The Supreme Court Isn’t Anti-Muslim," 12 Feb. 2019 Top positions dealing with women’s rights, human rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights are vacant, as are senior U.S. roles dealing with the United Nations. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "Pence Asks U.S. Diplomats to Back Trump’s Push for a Border Wall," 16 Jan. 2019 Lohan said, and presumably not for its many human rights violations. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Rebooting Lindsay Lohan," 8 Jan. 2019 Or might some forward-looking Palestinian emerge, with U.S., Israeli and Arab support, to advance his citizens’ economic prospects and human rights? Daniel J. Arbess, WSJ, "The True-State Solution," 2 Jan. 2019 Immigration advocates and human rights groups sharply criticized CBP in the wake of Felipe’s death. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Medical checks ordered after 2nd child immigrant dies," 26 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'human rights.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of human rights

1629, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

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The first known use of human rights was in 1629

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More Definitions for human rights

human rights

noun plural

Legal Definition of human rights

: rights (as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all people

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