Human rights: Definition, types

Human rights are those rights that a person is entitled to have as a human being. It includes both basic needs and lawful rights. The basic needs are food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care. These are the inborn rights of a man.

Without any of these rights, the development of a person will be hindered. Even his life may come to an end. On the other hand, there are some rights that a person is entitled to either as a citizen of a country or as a person belonging to this world. These rights include being equal before the law, freedom of speech, thoughts and conscience, beliefs, etc.

Freedom of the press is also very important. Again, everyone is entitled to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Moreover, a person can move and settle wherever he likes within the state he belongs to. No one shall be forced to be a slave or to do any work. Cruel and degrading punishment cannot be given.

All persons are entitled to have equal treatment without any discrimination of race, colour, religion, sex, political ideology, birth, social or other status. These are some basic human rights that uphold man's dignity as a human being.

Types of human rights

1. Freedom of speech
2. Freedom of belief
3. Freedom of press
4. Right to education
5. Right to food
6. Right to safe shelter
7. Activism
8. Protection
9. Violation

1. Freedom of speech: Man is born free and he must not be deprived of his freedom of speech. Any form of obstruction to freedom of speech is simply the violation of the law of nature that will sap into the vitality of the victims as well as the nation as a whole. Creating obstruction to freedom of speech is an offence committed against humanity. So, the state must ensure this right for its citizens.

2. Freedom of belief: It inextricably relates to human rights on the ground that people of the world belong to different communal, political and religious beliefs. Every group of people has its own rights and rituals. People come of parents of different faiths and ideologies. So, one must not impose one's own belief on another.

3. Freedom of press: The press stands for both print and electronic media from which people expect to know the happenings of home and abroad. This is the way freedom of press relates to human rights because any form of imposition on press means treachery with the people who elect a government. Freedom of press closely relates to freedom of speech, the absence of which simply indicates a form of dictatorship.

4. Right to education: Education is one of the five fundamental necessities of every human being irrespective of caste and creed, colour and gender and so forth. Education leads to perfection which is expected to be guaranteed by the State. Article 26 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, "Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Primary education shall be compulsory... and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit."

5. Right to food: Food is the first fundamental need without which no human or any other living being can survive. It is the first precondition for survival. This is how it relates to human rights. Prolonged hunger can lead to premature death. Age and gender, caste and creed, colour and religion and so forth must not stand in the way to this right. People who are in distress or unable to earn their bread must be ensured with adequate food by the State, even during a war or any form of social/economic depression.

6. Right to safe shelter: Right to safe shelter is followed by rights to food and clothing. It is the third fundamental necessity for human survival. Every human being has the right to safe shelter. Those who do not have it can expect it from the State where they were born or they are living/staying now. Homelessness or unsafe shelter means an inhumane living condition and so safe shelter is a human appeal. Even a prison must be safe enough; it is not that a prisoner will be compelled to stay in a place where he/she is susceptible to diseases, incidents of fire or any other danger.

7. Activism: A man/woman is not a doll; he/she has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. He/she may believe in any ideology and can practice it in an active and righteous way. No one should be compelled to adhere to a particular association. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country as well as the right to equal access to public service in his/her country.
Human rights: Definition, types
8. Protection: Protection relates to human rights in the way that the State shall protect all the people from violence or disruptive activities, punish the miscreants/criminals and ensure the safety of people's lives and properties. It also ensures that people have the right to take recourse to law and they will not fall victim to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; police must present the accused (if arrested) before the court within a period of 24 hours.

9. Violation: Violation of human rights is equal to violation of the law. In case of any form of violation of human rights, the victim or any other person on behalf of him/her can take recourse to law against the concerned person/persons/authority. The State shall protect the people from those who violate human rights.
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