The analysis of international human rights instruments confirms the conviction of the international community, based on the tragic experiences of the Second World War that respect for human rights is at the basis of peace. The interdependence between the observance of human rights, participatory democracy and peace became particularly evident in the 1990s as a result of the proliferation of internal conflicts. The massive and flagrant violations of human rights, discrimination against minorities and other vulnerable groups, racism, xenophobia and ethnonationalism are among the main sources of conflicts which plague the international community. Poverty affects economic, social and cultural rights, as it is in contradiction with the right of everyone to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.