Political and Civil Rights
Political and civil rights are just but a sub-category of human rights whose main significance and role is to provide a safeguard to citizens/people with regard to gratuitous violation by state authorities and private institutions. Additionally, these rights guarantee an individual’s capacity to take part in civil and political matters being practiced within a given nation devoid of any bigotry or oppression. Specifically, civil rights are majorly instituted to ensure that an individual’s integrity and security are enforced at the required level. The also encompass fortification from racial, sexual, mental, gender, religious, ethnic, and cultural forms of prejudice. Personal rights like that of expression, journalism, and speech are also incorporated as part of civil rights. Political rights on the other hand guarantee the safety of individuals in terms of the practice of normal justice within national laws. For instance, an individual is mandated the right to a reasonable court trial, right to appeal a case, due process, right to liberated association, ballot rights and many others. Political and civil rights are significant constituents of the global human rights yet their role in the enhancement of individual welfare is greatly limited, without the inclusion of social and economic rights.
Social and economic rights are constituents to the second subcategory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the political and civil rights being outlines in the first sub-category. They govern the enhancement of the provision of essential human needs like food, health and shelter. In today’s world and global culture, social and economic markers are used to measure welfare level within given communities, despite whether it is on a micro or macro-economic level. The degree of poverty within the world has risen to alarming levels with more than fifty percent of the world’s population stepped in abject poverty. With poor economic conditions, it becomes obvious that the power for the provision of basic human wants and needs is highly compromised leaving many individuals with little or no food, residences, clothing, education, and health services. Economists have argued that social welfare has been worsened by the social inequality that is computed by the existing gap between the wealthy and the underprivileged individuals within a given nation.
A high gap is indicative of a highly unequal society that generally tends to be oppressive to the poor individuals. For instance, marketing forces push the economy towards a stable state that determines the price levels operating for a given period. An item may therefore be selling at a general price of $10 and this is to both the poor and the rich. Assuming that their income levels are $100 and $10, 000, the pricing system would be very unfair to the poor man since he has a lower purchasing power that can only trade for ten units of the given item whereas the rich individual easily affords a hundred units of the same product. Within the universal human rights, every individual possesses the right to labor and preference of employment. However, employment preferences are not pragmatic to the poor in the society. As they lack basic life amenities, they are forced to take any available job, whether it is rewarding or not, for the sake of financial earnings. When such an individual is oppressed within the work place, they tend to persevere under such pressures and this undermines their rights. Consequently, it also affects the civil right that encompasses the upholding of human integrity.
Violence and insecurity is heightened in an unequal society. The main attribute for poverty is the lack of employment or the notion of disguised employment. Unemployment is regarded as the lack of job opportunities to individuals for the least wage rate that they are willing to accept. This means that, if a jobless person is willing to offer his skills within the labor market for any amount of salary/wage, they are still rendered as jobless for lack of work openings. Disguised unemployment on the other hand is reflective of high labor supply within the work environment and this leads to dismal payment levels. For instance, a construction company may have a labor force of fifty employees and the building jobs acquired can satisfactorily be completed by forty-five individuals. It means that the remaining five are still employed but in disguise and for profits to be realized, the wage structures have to be downsized even if it means offering wages that are below the market level. With high level of unemployment, the idling populace often resorts to such practices as drug abuse and thefts ranging from petty crime to violent crimes in a bid to earn and afford basic needs.
Idling affects educational prospects and the young generation tends to be absorbed in gang activities that tend to be violent in nature. This increased crime rate affects the security civil and social rights, which the community suffers as a product of unchecked economic and social conditions. Limited earnings do affect the social and economic right to satisfactory nutrition. Economically challenged people live on a survival basis where food purchases are not made according to the nutrition standard but rather in terms of financial (purchasing) power. Malnutrition is very rampant among the needy population and its impacts tend to be very awful on developing children and youngsters. Malnutrition affects even the workgroup especially those employed in manual work. Various health conditions tend to arise from such unfit diets and in reality, the opportunity cost attached to unsatisfactory nutrition is realized mainly through hospital bills. With the advent of global warming, food production areas have been adversely affected by the negative climatic changes in terms of precipitation patterns. The need for food security as a precaution to the volatile weather conditions is imperative in today’s global community. This again falls within the civil docket for a right to physical security.
Poverty levels have undermined the social and economic right to satisfactory living standards. Slums and crude living structures are the most convenient and affordable accommodation for low-income earners. Interestingly, it is an evidenced fact that slums and semi-permanent living structures are constructed next to affluent estates for higher labor mobility; the poor move into the estates to provide the required labor services to the rich. However, the negative facet of this setting is crime and insecurity. The right to property ownership has been adversely influenced by both political and economic conditions. A number of political figures have used their powerful position to oppress citizens especially in totalitarian forms of governance. Fiscal measures and systems have been used as sources of government financing that with deficient accountability structures have been applied to embezzling functions. Dismal political structures have led to property grabbing instances and due to corrupt legal systems, the affected individuals end up losing their property. Unfair court trials driven by bribing aspects have not served justice to affected victims and this is a direct violation of the political rights. Social equity ensures that such instances are mitigated.
In conclusion, political/civil rights are noted to have a strong tie with economic/social rights. Individuals should therefore act towards the realization of the mentioned rights in a synchronized manner. Note that, the relationship that exists between political, civil, economic and social rights is complementary in nature. This is true by the fact that, trying to achieve individual welfare by the application of economic and social rights alone would also be limited by the fact that, if social equity ensured that a given community has economic fairness, then the economic welfare would be enhanced. Investors would target such economies since the returns would be more rewarding and their property would be secure. Additionally, the citizens would also require trade security as protection from possible defrauding practices and the protection of infant industries from the unfair competition that is imposed by mature foreign organizations. Social and economic programs like the free education package as well as the health bill in America should be encouraged as they attain a higher sense of civil rights realization in terms of enhancement of personal integrity.