3.0 WHAT RIGHTS DO WE HAVE?
Human rights are usually divided into various categories:
- Civil rights protect life, integrity, religious freedom, legal protection, private and family life, freedom of expression, assembly, association and movement
- Political rights protect the right to participate in the governing of one’s country (the right to vote and the right to stand for election)
- Economic rights protect the right to work, to form and join trade unions, to strike and to an adequate standard of living
- Social rights protect the individual’s right to support in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability and other circumstances the individual has no control over
- Cultural rights protect the right to an education, to participate in the cultural life of the community and to enjoy the benefits of science and copyright
Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the UN and other inter-governmental organisations have produced many conventions on human rights.
Some conventions were produced to protect the rights of vulnerable groups. Such groups include, for example, women, children, refugees, and aboriginal peoples.
Other conventions were produced to improve the situation with respect to particular problems such as racism, slavery, child labour, torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, and so on.
There are also special rules that grant people rights during wartime. These rules are called International Humanitarian Law.