5 most essential Economic Rights enjoyed by a citizen


1. Right of Property:

This right means that every citizen should be protected in the possession and enjoyment of what he can lawfully acquire. The right satisfies ones’ instinct of acquisition. The right to hold private property, however, is now being seriously challenged.

It is maintained that the right to private property has led to exploitation of workers and peasants by capitalists and landlords. The mere possession of riches gives to an unfair control over the lives and happiness of others.

In the words of Prof. Laski, ‘my right to property must be related to the performance of functions in the society.’ This means one should have as much as one gains by one’s own efforts.


Property relations in modern capitalist society require readjustment. It would mean re-distribution of economic goods on the principle that every one should be ensured a decent economic minimum before any one can be allowed to have more than this minimum.

2. Right to Contract:

According to this right, people can enter into any type of contract or arrangement within limits prescribed by law. This right, however cannot be absolute.

No one can be allowed to make a wrong use of this freedom. Contracts which are against the public good cannot be upheld. None, for example, can be allowed to carry on trade in human beings or the like.

3. Right to Work:

This right means that the state should provide remunerative labor to all able bodied citizens. There should be no unemployment This right is recognized by socialist states of the world.


Many welfare states grant unemployance allowance to the unemployed persons for a short duration.

4. Right to Rest and Leisure:

It is recognized at all hands that rest and leisure are as important as work itself. Though every state has fixed hours of work for different trades and occupations, this right is secured in the U.S.S.R. where people are guaranteed ample rest and leisure.

5. Right to Material Security in Old Age, Sickness or Disability:

A modern welfare state provided material security in old age, sickness or disability. The states give pensions, benefits or gratuities in these eventualities.

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