Types of Rights

Rights are the common claims of people which every civilized society recognizes as essential claims for their development, and which are therefore enforced by the state. The following are the different types of rights:

1. Natural Rights

Faith in natural rights is strongly expressed by several scholars. They hold that people inherit several rights from nature. Before they came to live in society and state, they used to live in a state of nature. In it, they enjoyed certain natural rights, like the right to life, right to liberty and right to property. Natural rights are parts of human nature and reason.

However, several other scholars regard the concept of natural rights as imaginary. Rights are the products of social living. These can be used only in a society. Rights have behind them the recognition of society as common claims for development, and that is why the state protects these rights.

2. Moral Rights:

Moral Rights are those rights which are based on human consciousness. They are backed by moral force of human mind. These are based on human sense of goodness and justice. These are not backed by the force of law. Sense of goodness and public opinion are the sanctions behind moral rights.

If any person violates any moral right, no legal action can be taken against him. The state does not enforce these rights. Its courts do not recognize these rights. Moral Rights include rules of good conduct, courtesy and of moral behaviour. These stand for moral perfection of the people

3. Legal Rights:

Legal rights are those rights which are recognized and enforced by the state. Any violation of any legal right is punished by law. Law courts of the state enforce legal rights. These rights can be enforced against individuals and also against the government. In this way, legal rights are different from moral rights. Legal rights are equally available to all the citizens. All citizens enjoy legal rights without any discrimination. They can go to the courts for getting their legal rights enforced. There are three types of legal rights:

a. Civil Rights:

Civil rights are those rights which provide opportunity to each person to lead a civilized social life. These fulfill basic needs of human life in society. Right to life, liberty and equality are civil rights. Civil rights are protected by the state.

b. Political Rights:

Political rights are those rights by virtue of which citizens get a share in the political process. These enable them to take an active part in the political process. These rights include right to vote, right to get elected, right to hold public office and right to criticize and oppose the government. Political rights are really available to the people in a democratic state.

c. Economic Rights:

Economic rights are those rights which provide economic security to the people. These enable all citizens to make proper use of their civil and political rights. The basic needs of every person are related to his food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment etc. Without the fulfillment of these no person can really enjoy his civil and political rights. It is therefore essential, that every person must get the right to work, right to adequate wages, right to leisure and rest, and right to social security in case of illness, physical disability and old age.

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  • If moral rights are made legal, i wonder the myriads of people that would have been in jail on absymal assortment of moral righs making people scandalous. I see the reason why civic education should be made a general subject.