Meaning of Civil, Political and Social Rights

In this article, we will study the emergence and advancement of human rights , which are organized into three distinct groups: political rights, civil rights and social rights.


The implantation of political and social rights started in the 17th century, with the English revolutions and the French Revolution , and, since then, it has been expanding all over the world.

One of the decisive steps in the struggle for the expansion of these rights was taken by the workers’ movement, which extended the scope of political and social rights to the category of workers, characterized by presenting specific demands and seeking new directions in the struggle for the expansion of citizenship.

Such events, by reversing the relationship between government and governed, paved the way for the implantation of citizenship and, with it, the rights of man and citizen.

Human rights and their areas of expertise

If, on the one hand, we identify each of the human rights, on the other, it is necessary to clarify what they are and what are their main objectives.

Civil rights

When talking about civil rights, it is important to know that they are associated with individual integrity as well as civil liberties , essential for every citizen to enjoy the right to life and other natural rights, originally defended by John Locke .

In addition to the right to individual freedom and life, there are many others, such as coming and going, religious freedom, privacy, property rights, etc.

Political rights

Political rights, together with civil rights, are important to guarantee citizen participation in society and government , preventing excesses on the part of power.

Among political rights, the most visible and known is the right to vote. As important as this are the rights to free political organization and freedom of expression.

Social rights

Finally, we have social rights, which are often confused with political rights.

They are of a collective nature , seeking to match the living conditions of the citizens who make up society, aiming at a better distribution of income, to ensure greater equality and harmony.

Thus, among the social rights, the most well-known are the right to education, decent work and remuneration and health, all of which are the responsibility of the public power (federal, state, municipal), whose legislation aims to meet the demands of citizens, which, in return, must commit to preserving them.

It is important to emphasize that each of the rights functions with relative autonomy in relation to the others, even though there is a direct relationship between them. If, on the one hand, political and social rights become confused, on the other, civil rights have a significant influence on the first two.

Civil, Political and Social Rights