Human Rights Issues

An index of tropes relating to human rights - violations of them, or struggle for them.


  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A violation of human rights in which a person is subjected to physical or mental pain by another. This is illegal under international law as well as under the laws of most nations.
  • Culture Justifies Anything: Every human being has human rights as an individual - rights that are not nullified by the concept of cultural rights. This dissonance is what makes "Culture Justifies Anything" a trope.
  • Dehumanization: Where a certain group has their humanity removed to make them easier to kill.
  • Fair for Its Day: When a work, act, or policy is considered better than that of its predecessors but still unacceptably backwards by current standards.
  • Fantastic Racism: Issues of racism and similar handled through metaphor.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: Humans restricting the use of some acts of magical or futuristic warfare due to being in violation of human rights.
  • Final Solution: Genocide - the deliberate mass-murder in whole or in part of an entire ethnic, cultural, national, or religious group - is often considered the ultimate violation of human rights.
    • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": When a Genocide is ignored, forgotten, covered up, or treated as justified. This results in the victims of genocide being deprived of justice, dignity, and often forgotten. It also makes it easier for future genocides to occur.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Violence against a (usually female) family member as a means of restoring the family's "honor".
  • Humans Kill Wantonly: Humanity defined by its disregard for human rights.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: Humans denying aliens or magical creatures their human rights, based on them being something else than human.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Due to the immense and long-lasting suffering rape causes to the victim, it is considered a severe violation of human rights and is illegal in almost all nations.
  • Living Is More Than Surviving: There are things beyond basic human needs that makes a life, among them being, well, their rights.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Human rights violations during war, often due to the absence of International Laws or due to said laws being ignored.
    • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: When soldiers murder civilians, sexually assualt civilians, destroy property, steal property, or otherwise harm the defenseless. Often called "sacking" or "raiding", in modern times this is a crime punishable by imprisonment or death.
    • Sink The Life Boats: When soldiers go out of their way to kill enemy combatants who have already surrendered or are otherwise out of the fight and therefore no longer a threat.
    • Child Soldiers: When a military organization places children in combat situations which they are too young to handle. Often these children are forced to fight against their will, and many suffer mental trauma long after the fact.
    • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: When soldiers refuse to harm non-combatants, or when their officers forbid them to. This is mandatory by International Law, as well as by the laws of most modern nations.
    • The Women Are Safe with Us: When soldiers refuse to sexually assault female civilians or PO Ws, or when their officers forbid them to. As with the above trope, this is mandatory by International Law.
  • Pride Parade: Marching for the rights of minorities and to celebrate sexual diversity and gender diversity.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: When part of a country's population rises up against the established government with the hopes of radically changing it, and when said uprising is willing to violate human rights in order to achieve its goals. Even revolutions are subject to international laws, and should be held to basic ethical standards like anyone else.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: As slavery reduces human beings to property and is associated with multiple other atrocities, it is seen as an extreme violation of human rights.
  • Super Human Trafficking: People trafficking, with super powered people.
  • Totally 18: Human Rights policies defining "child" as "anyone younger than 18" is one of the underlying reasons for why this trope (with 18 being the exact number) has become so universal over the last few decades.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Abstaining from violating human rights seen as something special rather than a requirement.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: How to define the "human" aspect of "human rights"?
  • Zombie Advocate: Fighting for the human rights of monsters or similar.