Ways to Safeguard Citizens Rights
Rights of the citizens can be safeguarded in the following ways:
(i) Stating fundamental human rights clearly in the constitution ensures the protection of these rights.
(ii) Independence of the judiciary is another way to protect fundamental human rights. Fundamental human rights are best safeguarded when the judiciary is free to carry out its functions without any form of interference from the executive and legislature.
(iii) Respect for the principles of rule of law by the government will guarantee civil liberty and equality for all citizens.
(iv) Adherence to the doctrine of separation of power with effective checks and balances also guarantees the rights of citizens.
(v) Fundamental human rights are best guaranteed under a democratic system of government than in any other type of government.
(vi) Freedom of the press serve as a watchdog for the rights of the citizens.
(vii) Establishment of Human Rights Commissions e.g. Ombudsman or Public Complaints Commission where citizens can seek redress if their rights are violated.
(viii) Upholdment of international conventions on human rights can safeguard the rights of citizens in a state.
(ix) Existence of activities of opposition which help to expose the shortcomings of government and put them in check, safeguard Fundamental human rights.
(x) The poor and indigent citizens need to be provided legal aid or free legal services whenever the need arises.
(xi) Proper enforcement of law and order by the law enforcement agencies and community and reduction in brutality, torture, and excesses of law enforcement agencies will help to safeguard the rights of citizens.
(xii) Improvement in the literacy level and poverty levels of the citizens.
(xiii) Rights of citizens can best be safeguarded if the state enacts laws that protect the rights of citizens.
Limitations to Fundamental Human Rights:
(i) Absence of judicial independence in the state can limit the rights of citizens.
(ii) Under states of emergency e.g. war, natural disaster, civil unrest etc. rights may be violated.
(iii) Diseases and infectious diseases can limit the rights of citizens. Citizens that suffer infectious diseases may be quarantined thereby restricting freedom of movement.
(iv) Brutality, torture and excesses of law enforcement agencies limit the rights of citizens.
(v) Delegated legislation can also limit the rights of citizens, especially legislation made by local authorities or corporations that may not be giving adequate publicity.
(vi) Customs and traditions in some situations can limit the rights of citizens in a state.
(vii) Illiteracy, ignorance and poverty also can limit the rights of citizens in a state.
(viii) Type of government in power also is a limitation. The rights of citizens are more threatened under an authoritarian form of government.
(ix) Age also limits rights e.g. political rights of Citizens are limited by age.
(x) Religion and Sex also limit the rights of citizens in some states e.g restriction on driving rights, and the right to help top public office.