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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Human Rights: Books

Your guide to books, articles and other resources on human rights.

What are Human Rights?

"Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups."

                                                                                                      United Nations website


Featured Books

Looking for more reading ideas?

Click for a top 10 summer book list on human rights from Amnesty International.

Find books

The Library of Congress classification system is the system used in the Lloyd Sealy Library and most academic libraries. It is an A-Z system that organizes materials broadly by topic and then subtopics within topics. Most books on human rights can be found under the following call numbers:
K covers the law topics of jurisprudence, comparative law, international trade and human rights 
KZ covers topics relating to the law of nations and includes human rights as a subtopic
JC covers topics relating to political science and numbers
beginning with JC570 cover the subtopic of human rights

Click here if you want a more comprehensive list of the Library of Congress classification system.

For books concerning human rights that are not primarily law or political science books you may need to look outside of the above call numbers. See the Featured Books box for a small sample of the breadth of resources that relate to human rights issues. 

Search term ideas

Below are some possible search terms to use  to find resources on topics relating to Human Rights:

human rights AND [enter name of country]

human rights AND Advocacy

human rights AND globalization

human rights AND case studies

human rights AND cross-cultural studies

human rights AND developing countries

human rights AND economic aspects

human rights AND government policy

human rights AND health aspects

human rights in literature

human rights AND international cooperation

human righs AND prisons

human rights AND police