The absence of a specific right to one’s own name in early international human rights treaties seems perplexing in the twenty-first century until one appreciates the historical and legal contexts which initially made this omission almost unavoidable. The growing importance of human rights in international law, of the obligation to recognize and respect individual identity, as well as the generality of certain human rights standards such as the prohibition of discrimination, the right to private life, and the right to a name, have led to an evolution in the understanding and interpretation of these standards in more recent years. It is now increasingly accepted in international law and state practice that individuals are generally entitled to state recognition and use of their own names—including names in a language which may not be official.


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pp. 977-1023
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