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What are human rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, without distinction as to race, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. All human rights, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression, or economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to work, social security and education are indivisible and interdependent. Universal human rights are expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law.

What does the United Nations do in promoting and protecting human rights?

The promotion and protection of human rights is one of the fundamental goals of the United Nations, which works actively in defining, helping implement, and monitoring international human rights standards. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has lead responsibility within the UN for the promotion and protection of human rights, and has been given a unique mandate by the international community, through the General Assembly, to do so. Human rights mechanisms established by the UN, such as the Human Rights Council and numerous bodies of independent experts, in their capacity as members of the core human rights treaty bodies or Special Procedures with thematic or country-specific mandates, monitor the implementation of human rights standards worldwide.