Identity and Rights

… a core concept in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

Concept description

Wikipedia notes that the right to personal identity is “recognised in international law through a range of declarations and conventions.”

Wikipedia goes on to say:

“From as early as birth, an individual’s identity is formed and preserved by registration or being bestowed with a name. However, personal identity becomes more complex as an individual develops a soul and conscience. But human rights exist to defend and protect individuality, as quoted by Professor Jill Marshall (reference below) “Human rights law exists to ensure that individual lifestyle choices are protected from majoritarian or populist infringement.” Despite the complexity of personal identity, it is preserved and encouraged through privacy, personality rights and the right to self-expression.”

In many countries, human rights law and human rights bodies have been important instruments for defending and protecting the interests of those whose identity falls into specific categories. [See Human Rights Commissions and Human Rights Tribunals.]

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Diversity, Identity, and Rights (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Wikipedia, Right to personal identity, at, accessed 26 December 2016.

Jill Marshall, (2014), “The legal recognition of personality: full-face veils and permissible choice”, International Journal of Law in Context, Cambridge University Press, 2014 at 72.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 29 December 2016.

Image: Mission of the United States, at, accessed 26 December 2016.