Professor Richards highlights, in his generous review of our book Measuring Human Rights that one of the aims of the book is to bring to the forefront the importance of conceptualization before operationalization – that conceptual clarity (or lack of it) is at the heart of the problems concerning the measurement of human rights. He draws out three key issues from the book as the springboard for further discussion on measurement of the concept – a) the “Respect, Protect and Fulfill” (RPF) framework, b) the lack of reliable data sources, and c) the conceptual links between human rights, human development, and human security. Although Prof. Richards’ discussion of these issues is quite illuminating and very often along lines with which we agree, we believe that he misreads some arguments concerning each of these issues and, in some cases, mistakenly attributes them to Measuring Human Rights. At the risk of being somewhat pedantic, we would like to clarify these arguments and respond to his helpful suggestions for further research in the field.

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