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[COMMENTARY] Why It is Essential to Know Your Civil Rights

It’s important to pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, and one of the most important things you need to be aware of is your civil rights. This knowledge can help you if you are ever in a situation where you might be taken advantage of by people who are supposed to protect you or if you’re being discriminated against in some other way. Here is a brief breakdown of your civil rights that you can refer to if you’re uncertain about what they are.

Civil Rights activists are blocked by National Guardsmen brandishing bayonets while trying to stage a protest on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. The marching demonstrators, who are wearing signs which say “I Am A Man,” are also flanked by tanks.

The Right to Vote

Voting is vital to keeping democracy alive, but a lot of people choose not to bother because they feel they don’t know enough about the candidates or parties running or perhaps even assuming that one vote won’t make a difference. However, all of those votes combined can make a huge difference, so never underestimate the power of having your voice heard. Don’t waste your right to vote and have your say in how you would like your country and state to be governed. If you’re unclear about the voting process, check out this guide on how to vote step by step.

The Right to a Fair Trial

If you ever face a legal battle in court, everyone has the right to a fair trial. This means having access to quality representation, the opportunity to face a jury of your peers that has been selected fairly and has no bias to either side, as well as an impartial judge. The right to a fair trial is one of the fundamentals of human rights, and it is there to protect both the defendant and the plaintiff during these proceedings to ensure both parties are being treated fairly throughout. 

The Right to Public Education

Education is another vital human right, and everyone should have access to learning whatever edge or background they come from. Having a quality education is how you develop your skills and can improve both career prospects as well as your overall understanding of the world. It can help you discover new passions, learn to be tolerant of others by learning about other cultures, as well as helping feel more confident. You should never be denied the opportunity to learn and get the same fair treatment as anyone else.

The Right to Government Services and Public Facilities

You also have a right to use services provided by the government, such as access to healthcare, public transport, seeking advice and help from your local authority, being able to take part in government through voting or putting yourself forward as a candidate to become a local member of congress, etc. 

This is a brief breakdown of your civil rights and you can find more information by conducting further research, but it’s important to understand the basics of these rights to make sure you’re not being treated unfairly and that you have the same equal opportunities as any other citizen. 

 



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