Standard Article

Civil Rights

  1. Patrick S. Shin

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee717

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Shin, P. S. 2013. Civil Rights. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


The notion of civil rights encompasses a cluster of individual entitlements that protect individual dignity and collectively constitute basic, minimum requirements for free and equal membership in democratic society. These entitlements are generally understood to include rights against discrimination and subordinating segregation in employment, education, and housing, the freedom of speech and assembly, rights pertaining to religious exercise and liberty, voting rights, and an array of protections against abuses in the context of criminal law enforcement, trials, and punishments (see Discrimination; Speech, Freedom of; Liberty).


  • ethics;
  • legal and political;
  • normative ethics;
  • practical (applied) ethics;
  • affirmative action;
  • citizenship;
  • civil rights;
  • equality;
  • equality of opportunity;
  • rights