Human rights can be defined as those benefits, entitlements and legal claims, which are considered necessary and indispensable for the peaceful existence of all human beings. These rights are enshrined in the constitution and enjoyed by every citizen of a country.
Human rights are specifically provided to ensure that all human beings live a useful, balanced and happy life in society.
Human rights are certain inalienable benefits and privileges, which must be morally good and acceptable universally,
In Nigeria, for instance, these rights are referred to as FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS as enshrined in chapter four (iv) of the 1999 constitution.
THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS
Some of these rights are:
1. Right to Life:
The right to life is the foremost of all rights; no wonder government protects it and provides capital punishment on those who tamper with life either in the form of committing murder, assassination or otherwise.
2. Right to Dignity of Human Person:
The constitution protects individuals in the society from being subjected to torture or be held in slavery or be held in slavery or servitude and/or be required to do forced labour.
3. Right to Personal Liberty:
Every citizen shall be entitled to his/her personal freedom unless the person commits a criminal offence of which he/she has been found guilty by a competent court of law in its execution of sentence.
4. Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion:
Every citizen by the provisions of the constitution is to make his/her choice to follow his mind in respect to the type of religion he/she wishes to practice. By this right, a citizen is entitled to think freely and hold any belief of his/her choice.
5. Right to Education:
Education is the bedrock of any meaningful development and every nation works towards achieving this purpose. The constitution therefore provides the right for citizens of the country to go to schools of their choice to acquire knowledge.
6. Right to work:
The constitution of the country also permits her citizens to seek jobs of their choice in any part of the country in order to earn a living.
7. Right to Freedom of Expression and the Press:
This is a right that entitles citizens the freedom to hold opinions and to criticize the government objectively and constructively without inciting people against constituted authority.
8. Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association:
This is the right that entitles citizens of a country to freely assemble and associate with other persons or groups. It also entitles citizens the right to form or belong to any political party, trade union, civil society or any other association for the protection of their interest.
9. Right to Privacy and Family Life:
This is the right that guarantees and protects the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondences and conversations. This right also entitles citizens to marry from any part of the country.
10. Right to Acquire and Own Immovable Property:
In accordance to the constitution of the country, every citizen has the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria such as house(s) for shelter, petrol station(s), hotel(s)
11. Right to Fair Hearing:
This right entitles a person charged with a criminal offence the chance or opportunity of fair hearing in public within a reasonable time by a court or tribunal established by law and constituted in such a manner as to secure its independence and impartiality in the determination of such a case. In this regard, every person charged with criminal offence is presumed innocent until he/she is proven otherwise by the court of law.
12. Right to Freedom of Movement:
Subject to the provisions of the constitution, every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, Right to vote and be voted for at elections: This is the right that entitles every Nigerian adult citizen up to 18 years and above, the right to register and obtain voter’s card, vote and be voted for during general elections.
14. Right to freedom from Discrimination:
This right provides that no citizen of Nigeria of any particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall by any reason be either expressly or in practical application of any kind be subjected to any form of deprivation or discrimination merely by reason of the circumstances of his/her birth. Therefore, discrimination in any form among Nigerian citizens is seriously frowned at by the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria as a Nation.
15. Right to Social Life and Social Amenities:
Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to his/her social life through the provision of the enabling environment in concomitance to the basic amenities that make life worth living. Nigerian citizens are by this right entitled to free use of social amenities provided by government such as pipe borne water, electricity, health care centres, libraries, recreation centres, roads etc.
16. Right to Serve in any Public Office:
Appointments into public offices hosed on eligibility and citizens who have the requisite qualifications and moral standing are entitled to ho Id such pubic office(s)
17. Right to criticize the government constructively:
Criticisms are inborn among human beings. But the constitution provides that any citizen who wishes to criticize government and its activities should do so constructively and objectively without sentiments and acrimony.