At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Civil Rights Union?

K. Wascher
K. Wascher

A civil rights union is a group of individuals who have vowed to protect the civil rights of citizens in a given location. Civil rights are privileges and protections provided to all individuals by a national constitution or other governing legal documents promulgated by leaders of a country. They protect citizens from injustices that may otherwise occur because of their beliefs, disabilities, or ethnic origins. The purpose of these rights is to defend against unwanted violations by governments or private organizations by ensuring that citizens receive due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

The belief that each individual was created equal is central to a civil rights union. There are numerous national and worldwide organizations active every day in courtrooms, societies, and legislatures to provide a voice for citizens in each country. These unions help guarantee that people are not discriminated against because of disabilities, gender, religion, race, age, or sexual preference. For example, the civil rights movement that took place in the United States during the middle of the 20th century was able to make segregation between races illegal and limit discriminatory practices by employers.

A civil rights union may protect the rights of people with disabilities.
A civil rights union may protect the rights of people with disabilities.

The world as a whole experienced a global civil rights movement during the middle of the 20th century, when civil rights unions were prevalent in many countries such as the United States, Ireland, and South Africa. The civil rights unions in these locations often faced violence and adversity. For example, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed in an effort to end the violent disagreements between the Catholic and Protestant populations.

Many civil rights unions, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, observe judicial, legislative, and executive political candidates to ensure that their beliefs and positions are in line with the overarching civil liberties of a nation. Candidates willing to advance the interests of a civil rights union will often receive a political endorsement or contribution from the union, which helps to get the candidate elected. A civil rights union will also campaign against a candidate whose platform threatens the rights and liberties of citizens.

A civil rights union is often considered to be a nonprofit organization. These types of of organizations receive funding from various private sources, such as foundations and individual donations. Additional funding may come in the form of court-awarded damages and fees for attorneys who try civil rights matters through the judicial system.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A civil rights union may protect the rights of people with disabilities.
      By: Roman Milert
      A civil rights union may protect the rights of people with disabilities.