Protecting civil rights is an important part of the democratic values of the United States. Everyone realizes that interfering with another’s civil rights is a violation that creates an action for injury, but before you can protect your civil rights, you must understand and know what they are. The definition of civil rights can be difficult to understand because it is a very broad area of law. Civil rights laws are designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment; they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination in several areas including education, employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Historically, the “Civil Rights Movement” referred to efforts toward achieving true equality for African Americans in all facets of society, but today the term “civil rights” is also used to describe the advancement of equality for all people regardless of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, religion, or certain other characteristics. In the U.S. this has included not only the African American civil rights movement, but also movements that were inspired by the civil rights movement such as the American Indian Movement and the Chicano Movement which occurred during the same time.