Human rights are the basic rights, to which every single individual is entitled. Human rights are Universal in nature. e.g., the Right to Freedom, the Right to Equality, the Right to Education etc. 10th December, every year, is celebrated as the Human Rights Day.
Characteristics of Human Rights
The main characteristics of Human Rights are as follows:
- Human rights cannot be taken away. However, some special situations demand the alienation of human rights.
- Human rights are inter-linked and cannot be divided. This inter-linkage is assured by the Vienna Declaration and the Programme of Action (1993).
- Human rights are totally equal and non-discriminatory in nature, which means that every individual is equally entitled to them without any discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, colour, caste, community and economic status.
- Human rights entail some obligations as well as the States assume obligations and duties under International law to respect, protect and to fulfill human rights.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The UN established the Commission on Human Rights in 1946. The main objective of the organisation is ‘to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights’. The General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10th December, 1948 in Paris. It has 30 Articles. These rights guarantee everyone, the right to live a decent life.
The Covenants (International Bill of Human Rights)
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights.
Categories of Human Rights
Both Civil and Political rights and Economic, Social and Cultural rights are included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). These are categorised as follows:
1. Civil Rights
The main civil rights are as follows:
- Right to Life, Liberty and Security of person.
- Equality before law.
- Right to recognition before the law.
- Freedom of movement and residence within the borders of a particular state.
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
2. Political Rights
The main political rights are as follows:
- Right to take part in the government of one’s country.
- Equality in accessing public services.
- Right to elect the government of one’s own choice.
- Right to a Nationality.
3. Economic Rights
The main economic rights are as follows:
- Right to own property.
- Right to social security.
- Right to work and to be protected against unemployment.
- Equal pay for equal work.
- To form and join Trade Unions.
- To a standard of living.
4. Social Rights
The main social rights are as follows:
- Right to marry and to form a family.
- To have full protection for the family.
- To have special care and assistance for the mother and child.
- Right to Education.
5. Cultural Rights
The main cultural rights are as follows:
- To freely participate in the cultural life.
- Protection of moral and material interests.
- To form any scientific, literacy or artistic production.