International human rights law consists of a body of basic rights and principles that States are to enforce with respect to every person within their borders. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many States are incapable of ensuring the rights of everyone, and in some instances simply do not wish to do so. Accordingly, citizenship serves as an acknowledgment by a State that the status holder is entitled to a higher degree of protection. Conversely, noncitizens may enjoy less rights than citizens, and certain categories of noncitizens frequently find themselves outside of the State’s protection entirely. This article outlines many of the rights that international law directs should be enjoyed by every human being, the factors that contribute to unequal enjoyment of these rights, and the categories of noncitizen associated with the mediated allocation of basic human rights.
- Human rights
- international law