Human rights are invoked on many occasions. But are they more than lofty values and abstract principles? In providing a concise but comprehensive overview of international human rights protection at the global and regional levels, this book offers an introduction to the ideas, conceptual underpinnings, and doctrine of international human rights law including the sources, legal nature, and scope ofapplication of human rights obligations. The issues of implementation and enforceability at the domestic, regional, and universal level are explored, and the impact of the recently established Human Rights Council is assessed. The substantive guarantees covering economic, social, and cultural aswell as civil and political rights based on the case law of UN treaty bodies and relevant regional courts are evaluated. This book shows that human rights are real rights creating legal entitlements for those who are protected by them and imposing legal obligations on those bound by them. It explores the various mechanisms set up by the international community to monitor the implementation of human rights guaranteesand to decide individual cases brought to the attention of human rights courts and quasi-judicial bodies at the international level. Its last part contains a detailed exploration of the meanings of human rights guarantees, such as the right to life, the prohibition of torture, non-discrimination,economic rights, and many others.