Human rights are the very essence of the modern democratic world. In December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a key document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although the principles underlying human rights have been generally accepted and acknowledged by the vast majority of states, debate about the universality of such rights can provoke strong reactions among people of different cultural backgrounds. Many scholars from the Third World argue that the human rights discourse is a product of the enlightenment and is therefore not universal. The objective of this course is to introduce the students to: the historical origins and evolution of the concept of human rights; the international regime and acceptances of several generations of rights such as the civil and political rights, economic rights, groups rights and women’s rights; the critiques of universalism and the problems of implementation of human rights in Canada and abroad.