Civil Rights and Human Rights
Civil right and human rights co-exist and are very much a part of one another. Both are designed so that people can live the lives they choose without fear of persecution, and these rights apply to every single person no matter where they live in the world.
Human RightsHuman rights can be described as the fundamentals on which our society has developed over the years.
Everyone should have the right to life and to their own personal beliefs and the right to make choices on how they live their lives. Basic human rights include:
- The right to protection from torture
- Protection from compulsory labour and slavery
- The right to protection from discrimination
- Freedom of expression
- The right to marry
- The right to a fair trail
- The right to education
- The right to protection of property
History of Human RightsHuman rights have been continually developed over many centuries but they received extra support around the world after World War II and the Holocaust atrocities. In 1948 the United Nations set out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in order to make sure that these atrocities were not repeated in the future. This declaration set out a number of rights and freedoms that all people should be entitled to. This was the beginning of a number of more localised regional treaties being created such as the European Convention on Human Rights.
Civil Rights and Human RightsAt its most basic level there is really no difference between civil rights and human rights. The actual laws may differ from country to country but human rights can be seen as the bare bones minimum rights that individuals should have. Civil rights were fought and won over a great deal of time and again focus was placed on equality for all. The civil rights movement were the major force behind winning equality and the right to live without fear of discrimination of colour, race, religion, gender, age and disability.
The Basic PrinciplesBehind both human and civil rights are some basic principals. The principals allow humans to live their lives with dignity, equality, fairness and respect for each other. They also allow people to create their own independent lives without fear of discrimination or interference from others. Respect for each other and the community in which we live is another of the basic principles instilled by human and civil rights.
The Human Rights Act 1998In Britain there are no actual civil rights law set out but Britain does subscribe to the Human Rights Act 1998. This act encompasses many of the civil rights that are implemented in the Civil Rights Act 1964 (USA) regarding discrimination and freedom of equality. The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the rights that protect UK citizens under the European Convention of Human Rights. The European Convention of Human Rights was drafted with the help of British lawyers.
Restriction of Human RightsSome human rights are not unconditional and some restrictions do apply. The right to protection from torture is an absolute right, but certain rights that have been set out are limited. For instance the right to freedom can be restricted if a person has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison. The right to freedom of expression can also be restricted if a person is found to be inciting racial hatred through their actions. This would be a necessary restriction of a right in order to protect the rights of others in the community.
Civil rights and human rights co-exist and compliment each other to make the world a more harmonious and equal place. This does not mean that all countries throughout the world abide by these rights and atrocities still do occur. But without these human and civil rights it would be easier for people and governments to apply discrimination and harassment to others without fear of legal consequence.