The rights of a citizen vary from one country to another. Your rights are determined by what the constitution of your country says. The kind of government that prevails in your country can also determine what your rights are. If you are in a country under military rule, your rights as a citizen may not matter at all since martial law always prevail in such a country in which the power to determine what is right or wrong resides in the military ruler. The rights of the citizens in a country under democratic leadership are usually protected since democracy is the “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. The rights of the people are protected since the people play principal roles in determine who the leaders are.
In the course of this write-up, we will enlighten you about what your rights are as a citizen of a country run by democratically elected leaders, which is about the only kind of country where the rights of the citizens are truly appreciated and respected. This write-up will not focus on any country, but you will find elements of it in any country under democratic leadership in any part of the world. You should also bear in mind that the leaders of some so-called democracy countries fail to respect some of the rights of the citizens. Such a citizen has the right to use such a government to court and can even go as far as the International ourt of Justice.
Your rights as a citizen
The sovereign power of a country under democratic rule is invested in the people. As a citizen, you have the right to exercise your sovereign power directly or indirectly; the indirect method involves making your voice known via your elected representative. As a citizen, you have the right to lodge a complaint in a court of law if you feel that your fundamental freedom or right is being threatened, violated or denied.
As a citizen, you have entitlement to the following fundamental freedoms and rights:
- Right to life
- The rights to equal benefit in law, right to equally protection and equality
- Right to human dignity
- Right to security and freedom
- Protection from forced labor, servitude and slavery
- Freedom of opinion, belief, religion and conscience
- Freedom of the media
- Freedom of expression
- Consumers rights
- Right to use culture and language of your preference
- Right to social and economic rights, including education, social security, water, food, housing and health.
- Right to a healthy and clean environment
- Fair labor practices
- Protection of right to property
- Freedom of residence and movement
- Political rights
- Right to petition, picketing, demonstration and assembly
- Freedom of association
- Right of access to information