GCSE Citizenship : Rights




Human Rights

Moral and Social Rights

Human Rights Act

UDHR examples


International Humanitarian Law

Amnesty International

War Criminals

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  • Created by: Katie.
  • Created on: 15-05-11 19:10


Everyone has rights - you are entilted to and free to do.

They make sure people are treated fairly.

Legal rights are set down the the laws of countries (right to vote...)

Your legal rights change as you become older. E.g:

- 14 years you can work part-time, buy soft-drink in a bar

- 16 years you can buy lottery tickets, have sex, leave school, get married with your parents consent,

- 17 years you can drive a car

- 18 years you can buy cigarettes, buy alcohol and drink it in bars, vote, make  will, leave home, get married without parental consent, go into  casino, buy fireworks, become an MP

- 21 years you can adopt a child, become an MEP

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 - Means you have the right to think and speak your veiws and ideas.

 - Without it, we couldn't have political debates.


 - Mean you have the right to get togther with anyone and to do what you want (legally)

 - You can have peaceful protests and political parties, which is needed for democracy

 - Able to join a Trade Union

Trade unions improve the conditions of employment

 - However, the right to join the union is limited (the police don't have the right to strike)

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Human Rights

- Human Rights are the legal, moral and political rights that should apply to every human being.

- Each human has the basic freedoms, e.g freedom from violence and discrimination, to education and to a fair trail.

Human rights were defined in 1948 by the United Nations (UN)

 - WW2 was such a horrible war that it lead to the countries wanting to prevent similar abuses of human rights in the future.

 - In 1945, the UN set up an organisation to keep peace between countries, promote human rights and improve living standards.

 - The UN defined the human rights and and created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

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UDHR examples

A1 - all human beings are born fee and equal in dignity and rights.

A2 - everyone is entitled to all the rights outlined.

A4 - everyone has the right to freedom from slavery.

A9 - no one shall be arrested, detained or exiled without good reason.

A11 - everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A19 - everyone one has he right to freedom of opinion and expression.

A26 - everyone has the right to a free education.

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Moral and Social Rights


- based on the sense of right and wrong.


- right to education, to work, to health care, to food and to housing.

-  Some rights are provided by the state to help everyone.

- the 1870 Education Act gave education for children aged 5-12, it was free if you were poor.

- in 1908, the government gave an income to people too old to work (Old Age Pensions Act)

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Human Rights Act

- Britain is a member of the EU and the UN, so its signed the European Convention on Human Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

- In 1998, Parliament passed the Human Rights Act. it came in to force in 2000. It protects the human rights of British Citizens under British Law.

- If you feel if you've been denied your human rights, you can seek advice from the Equality and Human Rights commission.

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Democracy - rule by the people

Representative democracy - people elect MPs (representatives). We vote to elect a national government every 5 years.

From 1969, everyone over 18 years has had the right to vote (apart from prisoners). This is called universal suffrage.

Universal - everyones treated the same

Suffrage - the right to vote

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International Humanitarian Law

International Humanitarian Law (aka 'laws of war') applies to armed conflict. Its a set of rules that control how wars are fought to limit suffering and destruction.

The rules protect human rights of anyone not involved in conflict (like wounded soldiers or health workers).


  • weapons that create needless suffering are not allowed
  • attacks must be directed against the enemy forces and not towards   civilians
  • an enemy who surrenders must not be killed or injured
  • anyone captured must not be tortured
  • wounded soldiers must be cared for

The law is defined in the Geneva Convention, which has been signed by 194 countries. This mean the armed forces are responsible for following the rules and will be punished if they don't.

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Amnesty International

Amnesty International - campaigns for peoples human rights

- The organisation runs campaigns to fights for peoples human rights all over the world

- It aims to educate the public and governments about human rights around the globe, taking action against cases of human rights abuses.

- Anyone can join, members puts pressure on governments by writing to them or or publicly protesting. People can also help by donating money.


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War Criminals

  • In 1998 the International Criminal Court was set up in The Hague in the Netherlands to bring war criminals to justice.
  • War criminals are people who are responsible for their country or soldiers committing 'war crimes'. They are usually people in power so they never be prosecuted in their own country.

War crimes also include genocide (the killing of a large number of members of a national or ethnic group e.g. the Jews in WW2) and crimes against humanity (deliberately attacking or killing civilians).

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Types of Human Rights


  • these are the rights your always entitled to and can't be withheld .
  •  E.g. right to life, right to protection from torture.


  • these are the rights that can be restricted under certain circumstances.
  • E.g. the right to liberty is restricted when p a person has committed a crime an put in prison


  • these are the rights that require a balance between individual rights and the rights of the community.
  • E.g. the right to respect for private and family life and freedom of expression.
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