Know Your Fundamental Rights

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We constantly highlight our country’s lack of rights. Who knows their basic rights? How many people read Pakistan’s constitution, which guarantees our rights?

It is our duty to acknowledge and protect other people’s rights and freedoms

We all need human rights advocates or NGOs. We act as though it is just their obligation to support, protect, and speak up when needed. We avoid our duties. When a clear right is violated, we criticize human rights defenders for not protecting everyone.

The common man should know his basic rights. Every individual is free. You are allowed your freedom but it has its boundaries. These boundaries protect your rights. They are the reason people cannot harm one another. We are all safe from one another on account of the constitution and the laws. Human right laws are there to help us get along. They help us live in peace.

Have you ever studied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Everyone’s rights and value are equal. No matter their race, gender, skin color, religion, language, wealth, or nationality, everyone deserves life, freedom, and safety. Slavery, slave trade, torture, and harsh or humiliating treatment are illegal. Everyone’s equal before the law.

No violence or discrimination. You can approach the law for protection if you are treated inhumanely or unjustly. Nobody can jail us without a reason or deport us. The right to a fair trial is available to everyone. If you are charged with a crime, you are entitled to a public hearing before an impartial tribunal.

You can obtain proof if you are accused of a crime. Direct attacks are forbidden. We are innocent unless proven guilty. Each individual has a right to privacy. No one can destroy our reputation, visit our homes, access our computers, mail, or valuables, or endanger our families. We also have control over our travel privileges. We can relocate and travel anywhere we choose. We have the right to seek out a safe residence.

Men and women are allowed to marry by their choices and have families together. We have the right to free speech and expression. The truth is that no one has the right to force us to join a political party or organization. Democracy is a fundamental human right. We have the power to choose our own leader.

Without any discrimination, everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours. In the charter, it is clearly mentioned that we all have the right to a good life. Children, old people, disabled or unemployed have the right to be cared for.

Education, security, and equality are among the essential rights guaranteed by Pakistan’s Constitution. It even includes freedom of business, trade, or any other profession, as well as freedom of the press.

Most importantly, the rights of women must be understood.

Article 25 guarantees them equality. An Article 25(3) and 26(2) authorizes the state to establish arrangements for the protection of women and children. Both Articles 26 and 27 provide equal access to public spaces and job opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Protecting marriage, family, mother, and child is outlined in Article 35. Article 37 guarantees maternity benefits to women in the workforce.

Section 376 of the Pakistan Panel Code, 1860, states that “insulting modesty and committing harassment, torture, custodial death, and rape” are offenses. It was passed in March of 2010 to establish a safe working environment for women with the passage of the Protecting Women at Work Act.

If we think about it, we will see that no one has ever reached this ideal place. Laws are in place to ensure the safety of everybody. However, we can only reap the benefits of these rules if we use them in our everyday lives. It is our responsibility to safeguard the freedom and rights of others.

Nobody has the right to interfere in someone else’s life or take away their rights. Instead of criticizing the state, you can build a stronger relationship if you are aware of your rights. If we are ignorant of our human rights, we will lose them.

If you want to know more about the Harassment laws in Pakistan click here!

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Nismah Naveed Bhatti
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