Human rights are a set of fundamental rights and freedoms that are inherent to all individuals, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, religion, or any other status. These rights are considered universal, inalienable, and indivisible, meaning they apply to every person equally and cannot be taken away or separated from one another.
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Human rights encompass a wide range of entitlements and protections that are necessary for the well-being, dignity, and freedom of every human being. They include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and security of person; freedom of expression, association, and religion; and the right to a fair trial. Human rights also include economic, social, and cultural rights, such as the right to education, healthcare, adequate housing, and a standard of living that ensures dignity.
The concept of human rights is based on the belief in the inherent worth and equality of all individuals. Human rights serve as a moral and legal framework to protect individuals from abuses and violations by both state and non-state actors. They are enshrined in international and regional human rights treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, among others.
Governments have a responsibility to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. This means they must refrain from violating human rights, protect individuals from abuses by others, and take positive steps to ensure the realization of human rights for all people within their jurisdiction. Human rights also impose obligations on individuals to respect the rights of others and work toward the promotion and protection of human rights.
Overall, human rights are the basic entitlements that every person possesses by their humanity, and they provide the foundation for a just and equal society where individuals can live with dignity and freedom.
The rights of Nigerian citizens are classified into three basic categories: namely
- Civic (individual) rights
- Economic rights
- Political rights
These are the human rights that every person enjoys as a resident of the country. They are created and protected by the state for its citizens. These rights enable the citizens to live decent, comfortable lives and enhance their relationships as citizens of the community.
Civic rights include:
- Right to life
- Right to liberty
- Right to privacy and family life
- Right to the dignity of the human person
- Right to fair hearing and judgment
They are the rights of citizens to be engaged in a profitable means of livelihood. These economic rights include:
- Right to an adequate standard of living
- Right to free choice of employment without discrimination
- Right to protection against unemployment
- Right to join and form trade unions
- Right to free elementary education and health care
These rights specify the natural justice of fairness in law. They include:
- Rights of the accused; which are:
- Right to a fair trial
- Right to due process
- Right to seek redress or legal remedy