Rights are at the center of refugee regulation, management as well as activism and advocacy. They take the form of conventions, declarations and guidelines, but are also central to forms of politics beyond legal frameworks, drawing the rights out of legal institutions and into a diverse field of political institutions, NGO’s and human rights organizations. Hence, while rights are embedded in legal frameworks they are never fully captured by those. Similarly, humanitarianism is tied up with legal regimes, but is fundamentally also about politics. Hence, to understand human rights and humanitarianism, it is necessary to understand the technicalities of both, while being acutely aware of how their legal frameworks are contested and how they are dynamic political fields with controversial histories rather than black letter laws and regulations. Rights are central but always contested in a number of contexts, ranging from refugee determination projects to torture practices and humanitarian interventions.