Where does the concept of human rights come from? How has the human rights movement developed such a solid set of obligations that can be applied worldwide? The human rights issue is often contentious and the language of international human rights has become associated with all sorts of claims and disputes. ‘Looking at rights’ considers early historical invocations of the concept of rights and how modern rights theorists have sought to justify the existence and importance of rights by reference to some overriding value, such as freedom, fairness, autonomy, equality, personhood, or dignity. It shows how the concept of a ‘human rights culture’ means different things to different people.