Limitations Of Human Rights

Certain human rights are inherent to every person irrespective of their sex, ethnicity, and religious affiliation. However, there are limitations to these rights if they directly affect other people negatively.

According to the United Nations, human rights are rights that all human beings ought to enjoy regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status and are inherent. Examples of fundamental rights of a citizen include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.

There are limitations to human rights, which are there to strike a balance between the rights of an individual and the collective rights of the society. To avoid disorderliness in society, human rights must not be absolute.

It is within the confines of the law that a person must enjoy fundamental freedoms; however, when it comes to society’s health, peace, general order, and morals, state authorities may subject this right to such reasonable conditions.

Read: What is National Integration And Factors Affecting It

Limitations of Human Rights

Right to Movement or Association

This is the right to move and associate with people around. However, someone suffering from an infectious disease may be restricted by being isolated from others or quarantined. The reason for this limitation is the bigger picture the state authorities are looking which is the overall good of the society. A person denied this right should not see it as wickedness by the government; instead, it is a means to curtail the spread of the disease. Globally, during the recent pandemic, most countries were locked down and forced their people to sit at home to restrict the spread of the virus.

Right to Life

This means that nobody, not even the Government, can terminate your life. It also means the Government is responsible for safeguarding your life by making laws to protect you. However, a citizen’s right to life may be denied if he is condemned to death by the law court as a result of murder, armed robbery, and other forms of crime whose penalty is death.

Right to Freedom of Movement

This is the right for citizens to move freely within a country. It is also the right to leave any country and enter a country of which you are a citizen. However, there are limitations to this right. For instance, when the government declares a curfew during an emergency or chaos, freedom of movement may be restricted. Also, the court can limit a citizen’s movement if he/she has a pending case.

Right to a Fair Hearing

This is fundamental to the rule of law and democracy. Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by a legally constituted, competent, and impartial judicial body, i.e., he/she has a right to be heard and to respond to allegations against him/her. However, this cannot be exercised beyond the highest court, the Supreme Court in Nigeria.

Right of Freedom of Speech

This is a freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. However, freedom of speech is not absolute, and the protection of free speech does not extend to situations in which one’s speech impinges upon the legal interests and rights of other citizens and society. Printing any false, scandalous, or malicious writing against other citizens is prohibited. Also, any speech that endangers a country’s unification, sovereignty, and territorial integrity is restricted.

Right to Private Property

This means everyone has the right to own property alone and in association with others. However, this right may be restricted by the right of the state to acquire private property for public use compulsorily.

In conclusion, the limitations to human rights are needed to avoid any right to be absolute because the overall good of society must be above individual rights.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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