chapter  6
The universality of human rights
Pages 12

Human rights are, therefore, by definition universal in that they are regarded as rights of all individuals qua human beings regardless of their race, religion, political beliefs, nationality, and so on. As a universal ideal, it follows that the protection and securing of the human rights of individuals is not solely the purview of their respective states. States may well be the primary moral agent tasked with securing and protecting the human rights of their own citizens, but human rights are ultimately a matter of international concern. When a state fails to live up to its human rights duties, the international community is entitled, and in fact obliged, to respond appropriately.1