Essay About Human Rights: Rights And Freedoms


Everyone knows that so-called human rights exist, but not everybody knows what exactly it means. So we would like to acquaint you with what human rights are, with their main characteristics and with the basic human rights.

What are human rights?

Human rights are inalienable rights of every person, regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity, color, religion, place of residence, language or any other sign. All people equally have human rights, eliminating all kinds of discrimination. The main human rights feature is that they are interdependent, interrelated and indivisible.

The law often fixes and guarantees the universal human rights in the form of pacts, general law principles, customary international law, and other international law sources. The fundamental freedoms and human rights are protected by the state. The international law of human rights imposes on the state obligation to implement activities to promote and protect human rights.

Universalism and inherence

The human rights universality principle forms the basis of the international law of human rights. This principle, which was first acquired special significance with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, became a permanent feature in a great number of international declarations, resolutions, and conventions relating to human rights. For example, in Vienna at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, it was noted that the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are the duty of the state; it does not depend on its political, economic and cultural system.

Each state has ratified at least one of the main pacts in the field of human rights. There is about 80% of states ratified at least four such pacts. This fact reflects the general consensus among the states in the relevant field, what imposes legal obligations on them, and affirms the principle of universality. Some of the basic standards of human rights are secured by customary international law.

Human rights are inalienable. Man can not be deprived of them, except in rare cases and in accordance with the law procedure. For example, if a person committed a crime, and the court admit his guilt, a person may be deprived of the right to freedom.

Interdependence and indivisibility

The human rights are a single unit, they are interrelated and interdependent. These characteristics are related to every human right. For instance, right to equality under the law, right to life, right to freedom of expression (these are political and civil rights); the social, cultural and economic rights are the following: the right to education, work, social security; there are also collective rights: the right to self-determination and development. Progress in the following of any right contributes to progress in the following of the other rights. Likewise, failure to comply with any right adversely affects the realization of other rights.

The principle of equality and non-discrimination

The principle of non-discrimination is a universal principle of international law on human rights. This principle is present in all major documents relating to human rights. It also is the main subject of different international conventions on human rights. For example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and others.

The principle of non-discrimination applies to every person and covers all human rights and freedoms, avoiding discrimination on any of the features, such as sex, race, color or any other trait. The principle of equality completes the non-discrimination principle. This principle “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” was established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 1).

Rights and duties

The recognition of human rights is not only a right for their implementation, but also the performance of certain obligations. According to the international law, states assume obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. Respect for human rights implies the non-interference of the state in the exercise of human rights and refraining from restricting rights. Human rights obligation requires states to prevent violations. Implementation of human rights obliges the state to guarantee the smooth implementation of basic human rights. At the individual level, everyone should respect the rights of others.

Classification of the human rights

  • Personal rights (right to life, personal dignity, the right to freedom and security).
  • Political rights (freedom of speech and the media, right to information, right of association, the right to hold public events, the right to participate in government, right to appeal to the government, private property rights, labor freedom, the right to entrepreneurial activity, right to health and medical care, right to housing, right to social security, right to education).
  • Economic Human Rights (right to private property, the right to inherit).
  • Social human rights (right to social security, the right to housing, the right to health).
  • Cultural Human Rights (right to education, access to cultural values, free participation in the cultural life of society, right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, right to the freedom of creativity in all spheres of human activity: literary, artistic, scientific, technical, etc., as well as the freedom of teaching. Intellectual property as a creative activity product is protected by law).

Basic human rights

  • Recognition of human rights and freedoms as the supreme value, a person has them from birth.
  • Implementation of human rights and freedoms without infringement of the rights and freedoms of others – equality of all before the court and the law.
  • Equality of men and women.
  • Priority of generally accepted international standards to the laws of a state.
  • Strictly defined conditions that allow the restriction of the rights by the law.
  • Prohibition of the use of the rights and freedoms for the forcible change of the constitutional order, incitement to racial, national or religious hatred for propaganda of violence and war.

Rights and freedoms

Human rights are the inalienable, indivisible, and material possibilities of the individual guaranteed by the state to possess and use specific benefits: social, economic, political, civil (personal) and cultural.

Freedoms of man are almost the same as human rights, with only some distinguishing features.

Providing freedom, the state makes the emphasis on the free, as much as possible independent self-determination of a person in some spheres of public life. It provides the freedom of the person primarily by non-interference of the country itself, and of all other social subjects. Consequently, freedom is the independence of social and political subjects, expressed in their abilities and capabilities to make their own choices and to act in accordance with their interests and goals.

The task of the state is not only to guarantee the human rights and freedoms, but also to minimize the adverse effects of its intervention in social and economic processes. This task is quite contradictory. On the one hand, the excessive activity of the state in its relations with civil society can lead to a significant narrowing of the range of rights and freedoms of citizens. The most extreme situation is totalitarianism, under which the freedom of individuals and groups is not available, almost all social relations are regulated by the state. On the other hand, reducing the number of state functions (and even the destruction of the state itself, as the anarchists propose) can lead to the loss of stability in political relations, conflicts and crises. That is why a balanced policy of both the state and other political actors is required.

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