Human Rights may be classified as civil, political, economic and cultural.
(1) Social or Civil Human Rights:
Rights generally related to life, liberty and property which help to lead civilised ways of life for the individuals as well as nations are known as social or civil human rights.
Articles 1 and 2 of the Declaration of Human Rights state that “all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights” and are entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in the Declaration “without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
The Declaration set forth the civil rights to which all human beings are entitled and these are,
(a) the right to life, liberty and security of person;
(b) freedom from slavery and servitude;
(c) freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(d) the right to an effective judicial remedy, the right to a fair trial and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal,
(e) freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence and
(f) the right to marry and to have a family; the right to own property.
(2) Political Human Rights:
Political human rights are the bed-rock of democratic societies. Hence the universal declaration of human rights include such rights as (a) right to nationality and right to asylum, (b) right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, (c) right to take part in government and equal access to public service, (d) right to equal suffrage and (e) right to freedom of movement and right to freedom of opinion and expression.
(3) Economic Human Rights:
Articles 22 to 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contain the economic, social and cultural rights to which all human beings are entitled, and they include, (a) the right to social security; (b) the right to work; the right to equal pay for equal work; the right to form and join trade unions; (c) the right to rest and leisure; and (d) the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being.
(4) Cultural Human Rights:
We live in a multiverse and not in a universe. There are various types of cultures, traditions, customs, etc. among the different people of different countries. Hence, preservation of culture and heritage has been emphasised in the declaration of human rights.
Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”
Further, it provides that “everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.” Everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life of the community.
The concluding articles, numbers 28 to 30, provide that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the human rights set forth in the Declaration may be fully realised. These rights and freedom may, in no case, be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Rights imply duties. They are counterparts of each other. It is the duty of all individuals, nations and international bodies to observe and respect these human rights.
Modes or ways of Violation of Human Rights :
Abuses of Human Rights are often found in many countries in the world. There is a tendency of the rich nations of Europe and America to link economic relations and the provision of humanitarian aids to a country’s human rights record.
This has led to the perception that human rights standards are being imposed by the rich nations on poverty-stricken or war-torn countries. Human Rights are violated in various ways. Some of these ways or modes of violation are cited below.
1. Racial discrimination, what is otherwise known as ‘apartheid’, has resulted in violation of human rights in various countries, particularly in the African countries.
2. Terrorism and subversive activities use to kill innocent people, thereby committing crimes against humanity.
3. Establishment of military rule also leads to violation of human rights.
4. Aggressive regionalism, nationalistic tensions and ethnic violence are responsible for violation of human rights.
5. Colonialism and imperialism are enemies of human rights.
6. Old social traditions often stand as an obstacle to the realisation of human rights. In short, hindrances to internationalism also create obstacle on the path of human rights.
Mechanics or ways for redress:
Modern world has witnessed a tremendous popular movement for the advancement of human rights and democratic freedom in the world. This movement has acquired such a moral force that even determined governments and armies are incapable of suppressing it. Most countries now accept that they cannot so easily get away with human rights.
International opinion is today in favour of the human rights. The United Nations is the most effective agency to cheque the abuses of human rights. It has established the Human Rights Commission (HRC) at Geneva. Its branches are found all most all the countries of the world.
The International Court of Justice, an organ of the United Nations also takes cognisance of the violation of the human rights and provides various remedial measures.
Various countries have also established their own Human Rights Commissions. The National Human Rights Commissions has been established in India in recent past and it has done an extremely useful and commendable work on the front of human rights in India.