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What does international human rights law say about limiting human rights?

Rights Rights and Freedoms
Scales of Justice with parchment scroll of UDHR
  • Further detail
    • International human rights law says there is a small group of rights that cannot be limited, suspended or restricted under any circumstances. These rights are known as absolute rights

      They include:

      • Freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ICCPR Article 7)
      • Freedom from slavery and servitude (ICCPR Article 8)
      • The right to recognition as a person before the law (ICCPR Article 16)
    • However, most human rights can be limited or restricted in specific situations. 
    • Rights that can never be lawfully suspended, even in exceptional circumstances, are called non-derogable rights.

      They include:

      • The right to life
      • A prohibition on medical or scientific experimentation without consent
      • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

For more information on the rights and freedoms that should be enjoyed by Australians under International Law, check out our interactive poster

Or, if you want to know more about international human rights law, why not take our FREE online course on human rights and responsibilities? (45 mins)

[Accessible version in preparation]