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Civil rights freedoms and benefits are guaranteed to people by law or tradition. The term civil rights refers to guarantees by law of fair and equal treatment for all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, or personal beliefs.
The term civil rights is often used interchangeably with the terms civil liberties and human rights. Together, these phrases refer to the natural desire of all people to achieve freedom, equality, and justice. They include such basic rights as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly; the right to take part in the political process; and the right to fair and equal treatment under the law. These rights are also protected against government interference. Civil rights and civil liberties are the cornerstones of a free society.
(Recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 7-8)