I heard a lot of people saying this phrase repeatedly 'Where is the human rights'

To me it sounds wrong.

Does anyone think it's wrong the way I think? Could you correct it in case you think it's wrong?

  • Which people? Native English speakers? What was the context? How do you think it's wrong? The question as written is unclear and incomplete.
    – James K
    Sep 14, 2017 at 20:10
  • Which refugees, in which country? Are they native speakers of English. How do you think they are wrong?
    – James K
    Sep 14, 2017 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


This is an example where the people voicing their protest are taking a common English phrase, "Where is the X?" and modifying it for a new purpose. "Where is the X?" when spoken with a note of indignation, implies that X should exist, but currently does not.

Where is the justice for those young men killed by those police officers?!

Where is the democracy when corporations and wealthy individuals can "donate" billions to election campaigns?!

Where is the gender equality, when we have yet to elect a woman president?!

And so on.

In a similar way, "Where is the human rights?!" is not intended to be grammatical. Rather it's meant to fit the same kind of structure as the above examples.

Side note: "Human rights" can refer to multiple rights, or it can be a singular compound noun. Often it will be capitalized when used as a compound noun.

Numerous human rights have been violated since the coup

Human Rights is the first topic on the agenda


"Human rights" is a plural subject so a plural verb is required. When you speak about human rights in general you don't place a definite article.

  • Where are human rights?

However, "where" sounds rather odd and would depend on what you infer by using it.

You place "the" before "human rights" when you are referring to some specific human right. (UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS)

  • Er. Not really. While there are certainly multiple rights included in the scope of "human rights", the phrase is actually a singular topic, similar to how you would not say, "Mathematics aren't my favorite subject at school." This doesn't mean "Where is the human rights" is correct either. That's more like deliberately incorrect slogan grammar.
    – Andrew
    Sep 14, 2017 at 21:38
  • On further thought, there are circumstances where it can be plural, for example "numerous human rights have been abrogated since the coup". But it's also a singular, e.g. "Human Rights in Africa is the first topic on the agenda"
    – Andrew
    Sep 14, 2017 at 21:46
  • Ok now that means it's quite common slogan to be used in that way although is sounds incorrect grammatically? Right?
    – Manzimes
    Sep 14, 2017 at 22:10

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