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Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations and private individuals, and which ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the society and state without discrimination or repression.

Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical and mental integrity, life and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, national origin, colour, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or disability;<ref>The Civil Rights act of 1964, ourdocuments.gov</ref><ref>Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, accessboard.gov</ref><ref>Summary of LGBT civil rights protections, by state, at Lambda Legal, lambdalegal.org</ref> and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, assembly and movement.

Political rights include natural justice (procedural fairness) in law, such as the rights of the accused, including the right to a fair trial; due process; the right to seek redress or a legal remedy; and rights of participation in civil society and politics such as freedom of association, the right to assemble, the right to petition, the right of self-defense, and the right to vote.

Civil and political rights form the original and main part of international human rights.<ref>A useful survey is Paul Sieghart, The Lawful Rights of Mankind: An Introduction to the International Legal Code of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 1985.</ref> They comprise the first portion of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (with economic, social and cultural rights comprising the second portion). The theory of three generations of human rights considers this group of rights to be "first-generation rights", and the theory of negative and positive rights considers them to be generally negative rights.


Civil and political rights sections
Intro  History  Protection of rights  Other rights  Civil rights movements  Problems and analysis   First-generation rights   See also  References  External links  

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