Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world. It is the law that these rights are applied to everyone equally. These rights help protect the most vulnerable in our communities, including people receiving care and support.
Human rights include:
- the right to an adequate standard of living
- the right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation
- the right to privacy
- the right to freedom of expression
- the right to freedom of religion or conscience
- freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
In Scotland, your human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998 as well as a range of international human rights instruments. The rights included in the Human Rights Act affect the rights you have in your everyday life:
- protecting what you can say and do
- your right to liberty
- other similar basic entitlements
Most rights have limits to ensure that they do not unfairly infringe upon other people's rights. Certain rights, however, such as the right not to be tortured, can never be limited by a court or anybody else.
If you know your rights, you can shape the decisions made about your care, so that these rights can be protected. It means that those responsible for providing care services should respect these rights. If they don't respect them, they can be held to account.
Find out more about human rights on the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland website.
The information was last updated on: 18th May 2015