Every country has rights and obligations for their citizens, in order to achieve justice. Justice is the behavior or treatment that people deserve, that protects them from harm and gives them opportunities.
Behavior beyond your Boundaries
Even when it harms us, we sometimes let things happen against our will without expressing our boundaries. For some people it’s because they are not aware of their rights. For others, the reasons may vary; they may not dare stand up for their rights, or they may not know how to establish boundaries. Think about the right to an opinion; you are allowed to have your own opinion and to speak it freely. But when you think that you should always agree with your parents, you may have missed the opportunity to learn to think for yourself and to speak your mind. Rights are also about the limits that we have, for instance if you do not want to make love to someone, the other person shouldn’t push you into it. It’s your right to say no and everyone else needs to respect this. It’s therefore important that we all learn about our rights.
Inasmuch as we all have the right to have our own opinion we also bear the responsibility to give others freedom to voice their own opinions even when it differs from our own. Rights co-exist with responsibilities such as paying taxes and obeying traffic rules.
When people shun their obligations, they do so intentional or unintentionally. They may simply want to rebel and do the opposite of what they’re allowed to do. They may also fail to achieve their responsibility as they either do not know about it or due to other prevailing limitations. An example would be a parents’ responsibility to take good care of their child providing them with food and shelter. Would you blame them for not providing these needs if they didn’t have the financial resources to do so?
We can say that rights do not directly offer us solutions, but they are like guidelines to achieving a fulfilling life by bringing together personal and societal efforts. When someone fails to offer you what you deserve, you can refer to your rights and ask for the treatment that is rightfully yours. If necessary you may need to seek the help of other people e.g friends, police, activists or lawyers.
Before we share more information about your rights and how to make use of them, let’s first question who exactly decides what our rights are; who decides what we are allowed and obliged to do? Is it your parents, your teachers or may be the president? Take a look at the table below and fill in whom you think has the powers to decide what your rights and obligations are.
Rights in politics
Various people have powers to make laws and regulations that recognize and protect our rights. First of all, everyone who is eighteen and above, has a voting right; when we cast our ballot during elections, we select who is going to serve as President, MPs, Governors and Senators. This means that politicians aren’t our bosses, rather they are our representatives. Their role is to make decisions for the benefit of the people who elected them.
When they make decisions for the country, they do not only have to give an account of their choices to the people whom they represent, but they also have to give an account of their choices to international institutions such as the UN which makes rules and regulations for the member states.