Civil and political rights
Human rights are a set of principles concerned with equality and fairness. They recognise our freedom to make choices about our lives and to develop our potential as human beings. They are about living a life free from fear, harassment or discrimination. These are rights that are not granted by the government, but are rather basic rights which everyone is naturally entitled to at birth. All individuals are protected irrespective of race, skin color, gender, language, religion, political and other opinions, national or social origin, property, title, etc.
The Covenant deals with such rights as freedom of movement; equality before the law; the right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence; freedom of thought, conscience and
religion; freedom of opinion and expression; peaceful assembly; freedom of association;
participation in public affairs and elections; and protection of minority rights. It prohibits
arbitrary deprivation of life; torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; slavery and forced labour; arbitrary arrest or detention; arbitrary interference with privacy; war
propaganda; discrimination; and advocacy of racial or religious hatred.
In addition, Political rights also include the right to vote. There are exceptions to possession of human right which is why the UN recognises that human rights can be limited or even pushed aside during times of national emergency – although:-the emergency must be actual,affect the whole population and the threat must be to the very existence of the nation. The declaration of emergency must also be a last resort and a temporary measure.
Omogbonjubola Sunmola, Sumy State University, student from Nigeria