Do you know what human rights are? Do know the kinds of human rights that you have? Let’s find out what human rights are and the kinds of human rights that exist.
What are human rights?
Every day we hear of the phrase human rights. What really are human rights? One can define human rights simply as the claims to which a human being is entitled to simply because of the fact that he or she is a human being.
Human rights can also be defined as the basic rights and freedoms that all human beings in this world have regardless of who they are or where they come from.
Human rights are universal. Irrespective of your culture, gender, society, religion, sexual orientation, etc, you posses these rights and they cannot be taken away from you. These rights are yours forever. And all human beings possess these rights equally. So for example, you possess the same basic human rights that the richest man in the world possesses. A good example of one of the most common fundamental human rights is the right to life.
Classifying Human Rights
There are various kinds of rights underneath the huge umbrella of human rights. These rights are as follow: political rights, cultural rights, civil rights, social and economic rights.
What are political rights? These are rights that an individual has that give him or her the power to decide who governs him or her and who participates in running the affairs of his or her country. There are so many rights that fall underneath political rights. Some of these rights include the following rights:
- The right to vote if they have reached the necessary age requirement to vote.
- The right to be voted into political office if they fulfill the requirements to stand for election.
- Everybody has the right to take part in the governance of his or her country providing they fulfill the requirements needed.
- The right to join any political party of his or her choice.
- The right not to join any political party in the country.
- The right to enjoy equal access to public services in the country.
What are cultural rights? As the name suggests, cultural rights are rights that relate to the cultural life of a person. These rights give you the freedom to participate in any culture of your choice. Some examples of cultural rights include the following rights:
- The right to freedom of thought
- The right to freedom of conscience
- The right to freedom of expressing yourself artistically
- The right to enjoy the arts
- The right to freely participate in the cultural life of your society
What are civil rights? Civil rights are the rights that protect a person or a group of people against arbitrary or tyrannical actions by the government or a political authority. Some examples of the basic civil rights of a person include the following:
- The right to life
- The right or freedom from involuntary servitude. This is basically your right not to be enslaved without your consent.
- The right to a fair trial.
- The right to equality before the law.
- The right not to be subjected to inhumane punishment.
- The right to liberty and freedom.
Social and Economic rights
Social and Economic rights are the human rights that protect a person’s social or economic well-being. Underneath the social and economic rights, we have the following important rights:
- The right to education
- The right to work
- The right to decide which legal work you want to engage in
- The right to just and favorable conditions of work
- The right to equal pay
- The right to join trade unions
All the rights of the individual mentioned above are protected by the constitution of the country.
Factors that can limit the rights and freedoms of an individual
Despite the fact that individuals enjoy all the rights mentioned above, there are certain things which can limit an individual’s rights. Some of these things include the following:
- When the citizen breaks the law: One of the fundamental rights of a person is to enjoy freedom of movement. But when an individual breaks the law and is arrested and jailed, he or she automatically loses his or her right to freedom of movement.
- When you are a minor: All minors are denied the political rights to vote and be voted for simply because of their age. In many countries all over the world, before a citizen can vote in an election, he or she must be at least 18 years of age. This automatically means that all citizens below the age of 18 are denied the right to vote.
- When there is a security problem in the country: Another common thing that normally limits the rights and liberties of citizens is when there is a curfew. During curfews, authorities force people to stay indoors after a certain time at night. This obviously prevents citizens from moving about freely, thereby preventing them from enjoying their rights to freedom of movement.
- When you have a serious mental problem: Just like prisoners, certain people with serious mental problems (lunatics) don’t get to enjoy certain rights and liberties. For example, there is no country in the world where lunatics enjoy the rights to vote and be voted for. In certain instances where a lunatic is institutionalized (placed in a mental hospital), he or she can’t enjoy the right to freedom of movement.
- Illiteracy can limit one’s rights and liberties: Since illiteracy tends to make one ignorant of so many things, including his or her rights, it becomes easy for the illiterate’s rights to be taken away from him or her. This is the reason why illiterates are said to be among the groups of people whose human rights are frequently violated. The likelihood of an uneducated person to have his or her rights violated is higher than that of an educated person.
- Dictatorship, totalitarian or arbitrary rule limits citizens’ rights: It is very difficult to enjoy all your fundamental human rights if you unfortunately find yourself living in a place where the government totally controls every aspect of the lives of the citizens. A good example of such places is North Korea. Because of the dictatorial regime that exists in that country, many citizens can’t freely express their views and opinions.
The above are just some of the common factors that play instrumental roles in limiting the rights and liberties of people.
Cross1987 on April 29, 2018:
myvenn (author) from Ghana on December 15, 2015:
Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on December 15, 2015:
This is very close to the subject matter on my children's series where FREEDOM is the main issue. Until Robert Fitzroy ( later to be known as Robin Hood) came along in 1215 and created the Magna Carta, the KING could do whatever he wished and life was miserable for all. This feudal system kept the DARK AGES going for centuries and the Magna Carta was the beginning of a new age. Robin's contention was that RIGHTS came from GOD, not the king, and the concept of FREEDOM and human rights was born. Book is not yet released and is called Robin Hood and the Magna Carta. ( book 8 in the 8 book series of the Wutherington Diary. ) I discuss this in "Were Robin Hood and William Tell Real people?" HUB. LIKE this HUB!!!!