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Understanding Human Rights: Origins, Currents and Critiques, 1st Edition

By Reeta Tremblay, James Kelly, Michael Lipson, Jean Francois Mayer
Instructional Resources
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Soft Cover
400 pages
ISBN-10: 0176252436
ISBN-13: 9780176252434
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 1st

Understanding Human Rights: Origins, Currents and Critiques is a comprehensive text on human rights with a Canadian perspective. Although the principles underlying human rights have been generally acknowledged and accepted by the vast majority, debate about the universality of such rights can provoke strong reactions among people of different cultural backgrounds. The objective of Understanding Human Rights: Origins, Currents and Critiques is to introduce the students to the historical origins of the concept of human rights: the international regime and the acceptance of several generation of rights such as civil and political rights, economic rights, group rights and women's rights: the critiques of universalism, the problems of implementation of human rights and Canada's record on human rights.


  • Only book on market from a Canadian perspective
  • Each section covers both theoretical and empirical decisions on human rights allowing students to relate every chapter's material to real-life experiences across regions and countries
  • Looks at Canada's role in the creation and advocacy of human rights at the international level
  • Looks at Canada's attempts to address issues of human rights, particularly the reconciliation of individual and collective rights with regard to its minority communities

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: The Globalization of Human Rights
  • Chapter 1: Introduction: Foundations of Human Rights
  • Chapter 2: Human Rights in World Politics
  • Chapter 3: Promoting Human Rights: Individuals and Organizations
  • Part 2: Philosophical Debates
  • Chapter 4: Universalist Theories of Human Rights: Origins and Critiques
  • Chapter 5: Attempts at Reconciling Universalism and Relativism
  • Part 3: Human Rights in Practice
  • Chapter 6: Labour Rights and Human Rights in the Age of Globalization
  • Chapter 7: Gender and Human Rights
  • Part 4: Canada and Human Rights
  • Chapter 8: Canada Before the Age of Rights
  • Chapter 9: Canada and the Rights Revolution
  • Chapter 10: Looking to the Future
  • Appendices
  • 1.Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • 2.International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • 3.International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
  • 4.Bangkok Declaration 1993
  • 5.The June 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • 6.The 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter
  • 7.The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation: Objectives, Obligations and Principles
  • 8.Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • 9.Fourth World Conference on Women Platform for Action (Beijing 1995)
  • 10.Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Author Information

Jon Stott

Raymond E. Jones