From Human Rights Encyclopedia
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Human rights are "basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status." Human rights are conceived as universal and egalitarian, with all people having equal rights by virtue of being human. These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national and international law. The doctrine of human rights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and the activities of non-governmental organisations has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. It has been said that: "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable skepticism, debates about the content, nature and justifications of human rights continue to this day.
Human Rights Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia (also spelled encyclopaedia or encyclopædia) is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge.
Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries, which are usually accessed alphabetically by article name. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries, which focus on linguistic information about words, encyclopedia articles focus on factual information to cover the thing or concept for which the article name stands.
Encyclopedias have existed for around 2,000 years; the oldest still in existence, Naturalis Historia, was written in ca. 77 CE by Pliny the Elder. The modern encyclopedia evolved out of dictionaries around the 17th century. Historically, some encyclopedias were contained in one volume, but some, such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, became huge multi-volume works. Some modern encyclopedias are electronic and are often freely available, for example Wikipedia and Citizendium.
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