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The components of the Human right to peace

The three key components of the Human right to peace

The human right to peace includes at the very least:

  1. the right to life
  2. ​the right to dignity
  3. the right to order allowing the full outcome of rights.

These three rights are an integral part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (1). However, the the Human right to peace as a specifically defined right is in the process of being voted since the early 2000s.

Below, you will find a more complete vision of the Human right to peace and the references to the official texts for each of the rights that it includes.

​Full vision of the rights composing the Human right to peace

 1. The right to life (1) 

​This comprises: 

  • the obligation of States to strengthen peace as the essential element of the right to life (4)
  •  the right to safety (1), to the security of one’s person
  • the right to the minimum level of subsistence (5,6)

2. The right to dignity (1)

This comprises:

  • the right to live “protected from violence and fear” (6)
  • the right to be protected from all discrimination (1)
  • the right to the prevention of conflicts (5)
  • the right to the prevention of violence and the heavy use of force, including that by police and institutions, in a deterrent way.  

3. The right to live in peace and in a culture of peace

This comprises:

  • the right to order, allowing the full outcome of rights (1)
  • the “right to live in conditions of peace and security” (3)
  • the right to “a just, viable and sustainable peace” (5).

Other rights comprised in the human right to life

1. The right to political measures that strengthen peace

This comprises:

  • the promotion of dialogue, mediation, cooperation and a non-military approach to security (6-in part)
  • the right to disarmament and the reassignment of resources (5)
  • the right to a sustainable environment (as a basis for peace) (5)
  • the right to an effective recourse in case of violation of one’s human rights (access to justice and truth, reparation) (5)
  • the right to require public institutions to account for their  progress towards peace and to provide judicial control of the use of force (5,6).  

2. The right to peace education and peace culture education

This comprises:

  • the right to peace education and access to conflict resolution techniques (5,6)
  • the right to an education which respects human rights (5)
  • the promotion of research in favour of peace and human rights (6).

3. The right to expression

This comprises:

  • the right to freedom of expression (freedom of thought, conscience, religion, association and peaceful assembly) (5)
  • the right to participation in activities that defend and promote the human right to peace (5)
  • the right to resist and oppose cruelty (wars, acts of  aggression, crimes against  humanity, genocide) (5)
  • the right to oppose war propaganda, incitements to violence and violations of the human right to peace (2)
  • the right to conscientious objection (5)
  • the right of vulnerable groups to participate in the formulation of measures of  protection against the violence they are subjected to (women, minorities…) (5)
  • the right to demand that peace actually be achieved.

4. The right to reside and participate

This comprises:

  • the right to the status of refugee (5)
  • the right to emigrate, to settle peacefully and to participate (5)
  • the right to development (the right of persons and populations to take part in it) (5).

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(1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

(2) International Treaty of the U.N., 1966

(3) Human Rights Commission, section 5, 1976  

(4) Human Rights Committee, 1984

(5) Declaration of Luarca, 2006 (regroups about fifteen human rights to render explicit the human right to peace, in preparation for its presentation to the Human Rights Council with the aim to have it adopted in 2010).

(6) Petition and proposal for the State of Geneva,'s Constitution, 2009.

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For those who wish to have commentary and references relating to the promotion of peace and fundamental rights in the Geneva Constitution, a 6-page document by Christophe Barbey (*) provides  interesting answers: The Human Right to Peace – Commentaries – Chr. Barbey – June 2009.

(*) Lawyer specializing in the right to peace in constitutions and one of the co-writers of the Petition addressed to the Constituant Assembly for Geneva's constitution for the promotion of peace and fundamental rights; also the coordinator of APRED, a peace NGO and a member of Graines de Paix.