this document addresses the concepts of life and peace, as well as the understanding of these two concepts as human rights. it also analyzes how both rights are being severely and systematically violated within and among countries, in the present state of world affairs. departing from the contributions of different fields towards the concept of life, this article focuses on the recognition of life as the essential right and as the basis for all other rights. the author then presents a realistic and worrisome view of the current state of life and peace as human rights. statements are backed by data on homicides, forceful displacements, kidnappings and refugees in some of the most representative armed conflicts of today, including the invasion and subsequent war in iraq and the armed conflicts of sudan, afghanistan, israel-palestine and colombia. the article concludes with the author's view of possible mechanisms and actions whereby individuals could contribute to the promotion of life and peace, and to a reduction in the violation of these two human rights.