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(from L. humanitas: human genre) Sensitivity, compassion for the misfortunes of our fellow humans; benignancy, gentleness, affability.

In a broad sense, h. encompasses all generations of Homo sapiens, past and present. The history of h. thus spans approximately 200,000 to 300,000 years, but neo-anthropoids appeared some 60,000 years ago in Africa and 40,000 years ago on the Arabian peninsula. In a narrow sense, h. includes all the present generations, i.e., approximately 6,400,000,000 persons, who now inhabit our Earth.

The notion of h. arose 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, simultaneously in the ancient civilizations of Europe, Asia and Africa, and was manifested in the world religions. However, only since the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries does the present concept of h., as the entirety of all human beings inhabiting the terrestrial globe, become converted into the patrimony of science and the practice of international relations. However, only since the Second World War, with the creation of the United Nations, which proclaims the priority of human rights, has the practice of discrimination against different human groups been officially condemned by the international community, though it has yet to be eradicated.