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Human Right Course
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What are human rights?
The history of human rights
What right do we have?
Civil and political rights
Economic, social and cultural rights
Human rights in times of war
The protection of Human Rights
Human rights in everyday life
Human Rights

Did you know

Did you know there are rules for war?




It is said that everything is fair in love and war. This is not true. There are rules intended to protect human rights in times of war and armed conflicts. These are called International Humanitarian Law. For example, soldiers are not allowed to kidnap, rape or kill civilians, i.e. people who do not belong to the military forces. Soldiers who are captured by the enemy also have rights. They must not be tortured or killed, and the wounded must be cared for and nursed. It is also illegal to steal, even if one comes across an abandoned house.

The basis for international humanitarian law was laid long before World War II. As early as 1864, representatives from many states participated in a conference in Geneva where they agreed on rules regarding how wounded soldiers should be treated. Since then several conventions have been produced that contain rules of war that endow civilians, prisoners of war, journalists, medical personnel and other groups with rights during armed conflicts.

Serious crimes during wars and armed conflicts:

War crimes are serious violations of the rules of war.

Crimes against humanity are systematic and extensive inhuman actions against a civilian population such as torture, rape, kidnapping and murder.

Genocide is an attempt to wholly or partly exterminate a group of people because of their race, nationality or religion.

If individuals violate International Humanitarian Law and are guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, they can be brought before a court. National courts are primarily responsible for conducting such legal proceedings. However, if this is not done, war criminals can be brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands.



- In 1987-1988, the Kurdish minority in Iraq was attacked with poisonous gas by the Iraqi authorities. A total of 250,000 people were affected.

- Up to one million people were killed in the space of a few months during Rwanda's civil war in 1994.

Fact box

- During the war in and against Bosnia-Herzegovina, around 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were massacred in the city of Srebrenica in the space of a few July days in 1995.

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