Rights holders are individuals or social groups that have particular entitlements in relation to specific duty bearers (e.g., State or non-state actors that have a particular obligation or responsibility to respect, promote and realize human rights and abstain from human rights violations). In general terms, all human beings are rights-holders under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In particular contexts, there are often specific social groups whose human rights are not fully realized, respected or protected.
(Adapted from UNICEF. Gender Equality, UN Coherence & You. Glossary. http://www.unicef.org/gender/training/content/resources/Glossary.pdf)