Human rights and fundamental rights

Human rights are all the guarantees enshrined in a universal and inalienable way for all people from the moment they are born, regardless of their race, nationality or religion and are governed by conventions and treaties that oblige the adhering States to comply with them.

Fundamental rights are the guarantees enshrined for all citizens or residents of a country and are framed in the constitution and local laws.

The difference between human rights and fundamental rights is that human rights are universal in nature (they protect all individuals), therefore, they do not depend on the States, and as they have international scope they go beyond the provisions of the constitution or the laws of a country, so they are mandatory.

For their part, fundamental rights are the guarantees that apply exclusively to citizens or residents of a given territory, their scope is national and their provisions and compliance depend on the State.

Human rightsFundamental rights
DefinitionThey are the guarantees that all people have from birth.They are the guarantees that citizens or residents of a country have.
Agency on which they dependThe United Nations (UN).The state.
Document that consecrates themUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).The constitution and laws of each State.
  • Right to life.
  • Right to freedom of expression.
  • Right to free movement.
  • Right to free association.
  • Right to defend national sovereignty.
  • Right to private property.

What are human rights?

Human rights are all the rights that are acquired naturally from birth, therefore, all people in the world have them.

The essential function of human rights is to protect citizens from any action by the State that may violate their physical, moral, economic or cultural integrity. They were disclosed for the first time in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promoted by the United Nations in 1948, just after the end of World War II, as a way to prevent the injustices that were committed during the war from being repeated.

Human Rights have international scope, therefore they are superior to the rights enshrined in the constitution or laws of a country.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes 30 articles that are currently classified into 2 broad categories:

Civil and Political Rights

They are the set of human rights that guarantee the participation of citizens in the political and civil life of the State of which they are part.

Some examples of more important civil and political human rights include:

  • The right to life.
  • The right to gender equality and non-discrimination.
  • The right to equality before the law.
  • The right to freedom of expression.
  • The right to move freely.
  • The right to participate in the political life of the country of which one is a citizen.

Economic, social and cultural rights

Economic rights allow individuals to develop their potential and contribute to the society of which they are a part.

Some examples of social and cultural human rights include:

  • The right to work.
  • The right to housing.
  • The right to health.
  • The right to education.
  • The right to social protection.
  • The right to live in an environment that favors physical and mental health.
  • The right to participate in the cultural life of the community of which one is a part.

See also:

What are fundamental rights?

Fundamental rights are those legal provisions created by the States to guarantee mechanisms that ensure peace and social coexistence and are recognized by citizens.

Fundamental rights are outside the scope of international law because they only concern the national sphere, that is, their knowledge and fulfillment must occur within the territory of a State.

The constitution of a country is the most relevant document in which the fundamental rights of its citizens are established, therefore, they are also known as constitutional rights .

On the other hand, the legal mechanisms through which the fulfillment of these rights will be sought are known as fundamental guarantees .

Constitutional rights vary according to the provisions of the Magna Carta of each country. These are just a few examples of fundamental rights:

  • The right to life.
  • The right to identity.
  • The right to property.
  • The right to free association.
  • The right to defend national sovereignty.

See also:

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