July 31, 2021

Human Rights- Nature, Characteristics, Kinds

Human Rights

What are human rights?

“Rights are those conditions of social life without which no man can seek in general, to be himself at his best. “– Laski.

Human rights are the most fundamental and basic rights that every person has right from the second he/she took birth and it continues till he/she dies. Human rights cannot be taken away from a person regardless of religion, caste or faith a person chooses to believe in. However, human rights can be restricted to an extent. Human rights are the pathway to getting justice. The are the protective laws. There are thirty Human rights that are described in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The examples of human rights are:

  • Right to equality (Article 1)
  • Right to life, liberty and security (Article 3)
  • Freedom from torture and degrading treatment (Article 5)
  • Freedom from slavery (Article 4)
  • Right to education (Article 26)
  • Right to peaceful assembly and association (Article 20)
  • Right to adequate living standard (Article 25)
  • Freedom of Belief and Religion (Article 18)
  • Freedom of Opinion and Information (Article 19)

Nature and Characteristics of Human Rights

1) These rights are essential and fundamental– In the absence of human rights, the society would be in a deplorable state. There would be chaos all around. Human rights are a necessity for the upliftment of people.

2) Human rights are universal– The rights do not discriminate against the people. These rights are available to all the people equally without taking note the varied differences among the people.

3) Not absolute– Human rights are never absolute. Each right has its limitations which is imperative to public health, order and morality. These rights are not unbridled.

4) Inalienable– Human rights are inalienable in nature. Nobody can deprive a person of these rights. Moreover, human rights are inalienable because:

a. They cannot be rightfully taken away

b. They cannot be given away or be forfeited

5) Interdependent– Human rights are interdependent on other rights.

6) Dynamic– These rights are not static. They can be modified according to the prevailing situations and conditions.

7) Irrevocable– The human rights are irrevocable; they cannot be taken away by anybody. No power or authority can take away these basic rights from a person.

8) Connected with dignity– These human rights are deeply connected with the dignity of the individuals living in a society.

9) These are similar to moral rights. Conscience is regarded important.

10) Human rights are inherent– The rights cannot be brought or borrowed from somewhere or someone. There rights are naturally existing.

Kinds of Human Rights

There are five types of human rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Human rights.

1) Civil Rights– These individual civil rights include life, liberty, security of people, privacy freedom of movement, speech, thought conscience, subjecting no one to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile, practicing religion and beliefs etc.

2) Political rights– These involve right to expression, assembly and association, right to participate in government affairs. It also involves the right of universal and equal suffrage and entitlement of right to a nationality.

3) Economic Rights– These are the rights which are essential to lead a healthy life.

These rights have been included in Charter on the Human Rights as well like the right to own property, right to social security, right to work, right of equal pay for equal work without discriminating on various kinds of parameters.

4) Social Rights– These rights govern the smooth functioning of the society. Right to marry and set up a family, right to free and compulsory education etc. constitute a part of the social rights.

5) Cultural rights– Man is a social animal and hence these rights are deemed necessary. Everyone has the right to participate in cultural activities. Denial of these rights result in infringement of human rights which is against the law.

For more notes on Human Rights, Click Here.

For law notes, Click Here.

Author Details: Aditi Deshpande (Hidayatullah National Law University, Naya Raipur)

The views of the author are personal only. (if any)


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