Although the theme of human rights has gained prominence in diverse discourses across Nigeria, there are many questions to be answered with respect to the knowledge of the human rights by people who are illiterate and poor in the country. This study evaluates the knowledge of human rights concepts by residents of selected suburban communities of Lagos state (a majority of whom are illiterate and poor). The results indicate that awareness of the term human rights was more frequently found among more highly educated respondents and those who work in the occupational category of entrepreneur. Furthermore, large percentages of the sample reported experiencing marginalisation due to poverty and lack of education. However, large percentages also reported that they made attempts to resist oppression and believed that the government should work to protect people from human rights abuses. This study argues that stakeholders in the human rights sector should adopt the approach of a massive sensitisation campaign using native languages, to promote human rights concepts in the country. In addition, it emphasises that the government should actively include in their social agenda, grassroots programmes aimed at informing people of their rights, especially those who are poor and/or illiterate.