Human rights and citizens' rights

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTS – rights pertaining to every person by virtue of the fact of being a human being, and in the case of citizenship rights - pertaining to nationals of the state, however not to all persons residing in the territory of a given state. HR protection is a field of constitutional law and international law, its task is to institutionally defend the rights of the human being - individuals, and sometimes larger communities distinguished by certain criteria. The essence of HR is to protect the dignity and freedom of the individual, which constitute the primary basis for the state and its legal system. HR are universal - they belong to every person, regardless of their nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, social and professional status, etc. They are congenital and therefore exist regardless of the authority’s will (positive law) and therefore pertain to every human being born endowed with these rights, they are part of his humanity, therefore they are not granted by the state. The state is obliged to guarantee and protect HR. The following basic types of guarantees are distinguished: political, legal, institutional, social and moral, material. There are three basic systems of human rights protection: intra-state, supranational (e.g. within the European Union) and international. In international law human rights have been regulated in United Nations conventions, e.g. by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). The Council of Europe is a regional organization regulating human rights; two conventions are of particular importance: the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) with additional protocols, and the European Social Charter (1961, revised version 1996). As part of the EU, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000) was adopted. These organizations have specialized law enforcement agencies. Within the UN, this is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or Human Rights Council. Within the Council of Europe this is the Commissioner for Human Rights or the European Court of Human Rights. Within the European Union this is the EU Ombudsman or the Court of Justice of the EU. HR can be divided into three generations. The first of these is civil and political rights, but they also include personal rights. The second generation is economic, social and cultural rights. The third generation includes collective (group) rights. Citizens' rights are connected with the citizenship of a given country. Even in democratic countries there is a requirement of citizenship in the case of electoral law, the possibility of exercising certain professions and positions (e.g. being president, a member of special services or diplomatic and consular services). In Poland the basic normative act in which human and citizen rights were normalized is the Polish Constitution of 1997 - Chapter II is entitled "Freedom, rights and duties of man and citizen". It shows that everyone is equal before the law, women and men have equal rights in family, political, social and economic life. Polish citizens living abroad have the right to receive support from the Republic of Poland. When it comes to personal freedoms and rights, this includes legal protection of life, personal inviolability and personal freedom, the right to defence, the presumption of innocence, freedom and protection of the secret of communication, the right of access to official documents and data sets or the freedom of conscience and religion. Another group of rights are political freedoms and rights, to which the Constitution includes freedom of assembly, freedom of association, right of access to public service, right to information on the activities of public authorities and persons performing public functions, the right to participate in referendum and electoral rights to state bodies, as well as the possibility of submitting petitions, complaints and applications. As part of economic, social and cultural freedoms and rights, the Constitution provides, inter alia, the right to property, the right to inheritance, freedom to choose and perform work, the right to social security, the right to health protection, the right to education or the right to protect consumers. The means of protection of freedoms and rights include the Constitutional right to compensation for damage caused by unlawful action of a public authority, the right to a court, the right to appeal against judgments and decisions issued at first instance, the right to lodge a complaint with the → Constitutional Tribunal or the right to apply to the → Ombudsman for Civil Rights. Human and civil rights have also been regulated by statute. They concern, among others, electoral law, associations, foundations, political parties, freedom of conscience and religion, labor law, criminal law. [I. Malinowska]

Literature: B. Banaszak et al., Human rights protection system, Kraków 2003 ■ B. Gronowska et al., Human rights and their protection, Toruń 2010 ■ Human rights and their protection systems. Source texts, edited by S. Jarosz-Żukowska, selection and elaboration S. Jarosz-Żukowska, A. Wojtatowicz, Ł. Żukowski, Wrocław 2002.