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The introductory chapter of this book discusses how a unifying concern for human dignity led to the establishment of human rights as part of the body of international law. Next, the chapter includes excerpts from multiple writers’ works to employ slavery as a case study to demonstrate how the international community has used the notion of human rights to create binding law. Third, this chapter discusses the philosophical drivers of human rights by including writings from other scholars and the history of the presence of human rights in international law. The chapter concludes that increasing concern for human rights may indicate that protection of human rights is presently in danger rather than improving.

GW Paper Series

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-35; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-35

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