This chapter details the conception of human rights with which the book works, and it situates this conception in the – in particular philosophical – human rights literature.

The chapter proceeds in two steps. First, the book’s broad answer to the question of what human rights are is proposed: human rights are regarded as the minimum requirements of global justice, and the content of these requirements as having to do with (reliably) protecting the very important interests of all human beings. It will also be explained how human rights, in this understanding, relate to the post-World War II practice of human rights. Second, the chapter goes into the contents of human rights in greater detail: What, more precisely, is a human right, and what, approximately, could a plausible list of human rights look like? Who bears duties with regard to human rights? And how weighty are human rights?