Rights and duties: types and examples

The rights they are all legal mechanisms that protect the freedoms and guarantees of individuals.

The homework are the obligations that people must fulfill in the exercise of their rights.

Rights and duties seek social stability and a harmonious coexistence between citizens. They can be based on various legal instruments. The constitution of each country and international agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promoted by the United Nations, are some examples.

Rights Homework
Definition Provisions and legal mechanisms to protect individual freedoms and promote the guarantees of the citizens of a country. Commitments acquired by citizens.
Organs on which they depend
  • The United Nations.
  • The state.
The state, through legal institutions.
Legal instruments
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • The constitution and its derived laws.
  • American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
  • The constitution and its derived laws.
  • American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
  • Human rights.
  • Citizens’ rights.
  • Morals.
  • Legal.
  • Social and civic.
  • Right to life.
  • Right to identity.
  • Right to free traffic.
  • Right to free health care.
  • Right to work.
  • Living together respecting the rights of others.
  • Duty to vote.
  • Provide civilian or military defense in case of need.
  • Work to obtain the necessary resources.

What are rights?

These are the laws and regulations designed to guarantee citizen participation, through guaranteed freedoms and guarantees.

There are two main categories of rights:

Human rights

These are the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1948 by the UN. The 30 articles of this document establish a series of universal rights, that is, applicable to all individuals from birth, without any discrimination.

Human rights are protected by international law and must be enshrined in all member states of the United Nations.

Some examples of human rights are:

  • Right to life, integrity and security of the person.
  • Right to personal and family privacy.
  • The right to equal opportunities for all human beings.
  • Right to freedom of conscience and religion.
  • Right to freedom of expression.

Citizens’ rights

Citizens’ rights are the provisions described in the constitution of each country and are guaranteed within this territory. They are also called fundamental rights.

Citizens’ rights are protected by national laws and legal institutions, and must be ensured by all states.

While civil rights are based on human rights, each state seeks appropriate legal provisions to protect its sovereignty and citizens.

In this sense, citizens’ rights can vary, but in general terms they are classified into two types:

Civil and political rights

These are the rights that protect citizens against possible actions by the state and guarantee their insertion into the civil and political life of their country.

Among some examples of civil and political rights they meet:

  • Right to vote
  • Right to organization and political participation.
  • Equality before the law.
  • Right to free movement.

Economic, social and cultural rights

They refer to the guarantees that must be sought for the economic, social and cultural development of the individual, with the aim that he can live in well-being and be productive for society.

Some examples of economic, social and cultural rights are:

  • Right to work.
  • Right to health.
  • Right to education.
  • Right to integration of people with disabilities.

Collective rights

These are the rights created to protect a social group and are intended to protect the identity and interests of those groups.

One example of collective law it is the principle of self-determination of peoples. In other words, each state has the right to establish its own political conditions and to seek its own economic, social and cultural development.

Collective rights have been the subject of controversy, as for some specialists, the exercise of these guarantees may conflict with individual rights.

See also:

What are homework?

Duties are the moral, social and legal commitments that citizens acquire according to the exercise of their rights. This means that the exercise of all rights also implies the fulfillment of a series of obligations.

Moral duties

They have to do with fulfilling commitments based on the values ​​of each individual. Examples of moral duties would be:

  • The acquisition of a debt through a loan implies a moral duty towards the creditor, based on certain personal values: honesty, responsibility, etc.
  • Duties between parents and children, care and assistance when one of the parties so needs. In the case of children, while they are minors; in the case of parents, when they cannot fend for themselves.

Legal duties

These are all the rules established in international, regional, national or local legislation. Because they are legal in nature, they can involve a penalty if they are not complied with. These are examples of legal duties:

  • Duty to comply with the law and respect the authorities of the country of residence.
  • Compliance with sanctions in case of committing crimes, such as theft, kidnapping or fraud. Depending on the law of each country, this type of punishment can involve up to imprisonment for days, months or years, depending on the seriousness of the crime.

Social and civic duties

These are the rules established by a certain group of people, community or social group. They are tied to moral duties because they are created based on certain expected values ​​or behaviors. Some examples of social and civic duties are:

  • Citizens have a duty to pay taxes to the state in order to pay for and maintain public services.
  • Duty to cooperate with the state and the community in cases of need, such as catastrophes or attacks.
  • Duty to receive a basic education that allows optimal development of the person.

See also Rights and obligations.

Importance of rights and duties

The importance of rights and duties lies in the fact that they set the pattern for the relationships between the individuals that make up a society. Also the relationship between it and the bodies or entities to which it is subject (State, Supreme Court of Justice, etc.)

The state is primarily responsible for guaranteeing the rights of citizens through the necessary mechanisms (laws, conventions, institutions, etc.). Otherwise, it would be missing the recommendations set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is an international document.

For their part, citizens are expected to fulfill their duties to maintain a framework of behavior and respect for the law, which is fundamental to well-being and social development.

Rights and duties of children

Since 1989, the child population has had its own legal framework established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document prepared by the UN which describes essential rights, such as:

  • The right to life.
  • The right to identity.
  • The right to education.
  • The right to recreation.

For their part, the duties of children are aimed at ensuring the protection of the rights of their peers, so they must:

  • Respect the physical integrity of other children.
  • Commit to taking advantage of the education provided to them.
  • Help take care of the environment.

See also Children’s rights and obligations.


  • United Nations General Assembly. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” 217 (III) A. Paris, 1948. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
  • Americana, CI (1948). American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Bogota, Colombia.
  • Political constitution of Colombia. 1991. Constitutional Gazette No. 116 of July 20, 1991.
  • Political Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala. (1993). Government of Guatemala.
  • Political Constitution of the United Mexican States [México]February 5, 1917.
  • Spanish Constitution (BOE no. 311, of December 29, 1978).
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