This book is a distillation of the experience and vision of many people who work with languages and who share a belief in the capacity of the human spirit to transcend some of the injustice and inhumanity that are all too present in the contemporary world. The words, the language, black symbols on white paper, mean that we can glimpse what each contributor stands for. The medium is the familiar one of print. Pointing this out can serve as a reminder that at the time of the transition from the medieval period to industrialisation and modernity, printing was one of the central preconditions for the establishment of ‘national’ languages and ‘nation’ states. In the global age the technologies, transnational links and ‘international’ languages that are part of our contemporary lives and identities have very different forms and functions, which is why a study of rights and language should be approached globally-in the sense of both the full geographical extent of our world and the full range of scholarly approaches.