As the chapters of this part explore, from whichever angle it is viewed, the interactions between state authorities and vessels at sea invariably connect ocean governance, safety, security and sharing of the sea’s resources to a general concern with global social development and sustainability and, more specifically, to the lives of individuals. Thus, various scenarios will simultaneously fall within the scope of UNCLOS and the human rights law regimes. As presented here, the chapters in this part of the book look at the relationship of human rights and international human rights law (IHRL) with law of the sea (LOS), from a viewpoint outside the UNCLOS system and from the perspective of the general principles on which the UNCLOS is based. To provide an important backdrop to these studies, this chapter gives an overview of human rights from within the UNCLOS system. It does so by considering how human rights were envisaged at the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, examining the so-called ‘human concerns’ that made their way into the UNCLOS text, and by specifically accounting for the extent to which human rights obligations may be borne by flag states.