International human rights law focuses on the rights of individuals, and emphasis is on the protection of the individuals inherent dignity and worth. Collective discrimination is the root of a lot of inequality, however, and tools in law are skewed towards understanding the rights of the individual. Initially, there were three separate categories, or generations, of rights that are now considered obsolete: civil and political as the first; economic, social, and cultural rights as the second; and rights that individuals experience but, crucially, in collection with other individuals as the third. Amnesty International has been the key voice in human rights for the last fifty years and has realized that it needs to be a global advocate for the indivisibility of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of rights. This chapter is part of Module 5: Contested Rights and the Co-option of the Rights Discourse.
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