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

My friend Caylan Ford has spent her career advocating for international human rights and supporting victims of religious persecution. Anastasia Lin, WSJ, "The Cultural Revolution Comes to North America," 7 Apr. 2019 Celebrated human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, is making a name for herself in Britain. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney Is Working With the U.K. Foreign Office on a Media Freedom Initiative," 6 Apr. 2019 Last week, internationally celebrated human rights lawyer Amal Clooney arrived at Buckingham Palace for a Prince’s Trust dinner with husband George Clooney, hosted by the charity’s founder, Prince Charles. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Amal Clooney and Prince Charles Have Teamed up on an Amazing Female Empowerment Award," 18 Mar. 2019 Yesterday, the stylish human rights lawyer and actor drove that fashion message forward while being honored for their humanitarian work at the People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Gala in Edinburgh, Scotland. Vogue, "George and Amal Clooney Make the Case For Understated Red Carpet Style," 15 Mar. 2019 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

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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Statistics for human rights

Last Updated

16 Apr 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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Comments on human rights

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a strong desire or propensity

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