17

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly _____ .

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but ______ .

The verbs I have in mind are to satisfy and to secure. Is any of them idiomatic ? Or any other suggestion? I am looking for a verb to mean not violated when we talk about rights such as human rights, employee's rights, etc.

But don't think of 'rights' only in a strictly legal sense. It can more broadly be taken in the sense of 'entitlement'. For example, consider the following sentence:

It is true that the audience has right to be told the truth by the news channel. But I am quite sure that this media has _______ (=not violated) such right on the audience part.

  • 2
    The added example sentence needs to be edited. Also, I think it clouds the issue somewhat because there is no "right to be told the truth" in some places. americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/… – KannE Aug 6 at 22:26
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Aug 7 at 2:02
  • 2
    There are so many possible words (just look at the answers), conveying identical and similar meanings. The right word for the intended meaning for these two examples might be different. So perhaps more clarification is needed. – hyde Aug 7 at 10:52
  • 1
    In a human rights treaty context, I often see "ensure" -- in the sense of "guarantee" or preserve" -- (definition 6 in the link puts it as : make safe [from a violation thereof]) – cmcf Aug 7 at 15:25
50

Consider respected.

According to The Free Dictionary, definition #2:

b. To avoid violating

Consequently, your example sentences will be:

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly respected.

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but respected.

  • 3
    Although 'fairly' sometimes means 'with fairness; equitably' in this context I for one would read it as 'to some extent but not completely and thoroughly' which is not the meaning the OP wants. Moving it to 'civil rights are respected, fairly' avoids the misinterpretation but is clunky; I would probably just omit it. Or switch to a synonym like 'equitably' or 'equally'. – dave_thompson_085 Aug 5 at 9:21
  • It is true that the audience has right to be told the truth by the news channel. But I am quite sure that this media has _______ (=not violated) such right on the audience part. – Learner Aug 6 at 18:34
  • 1
    I think "generally" fits best with "respected." Their rights were generally respected. – HemiPoweredDrone Aug 7 at 3:21
  • @Learner - Another definition of respect: Agree to recognize and abide by (a legal requirement). lexico.com/en/definition/respect (written by OUP). So it fits both ways (with due regards and/or complying with). – KannE Aug 7 at 17:14
40

You may be looking for uphold:

(2) maintain (a custom or practice).

Collins Dictionary gives the following example:

If you uphold something such as a law, a principle, or a decision, you support and maintain it.


Your sentences would be:

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly upheld.

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but upheld.

  • It is true that the audience has right to be told the truth by the news channel. But I am quite sure that this media has _______ (=not violated) such right on the audience part. – Learner Aug 6 at 18:34
  • I'm not the original answerer, but I think that upheld works here too. – Toby Bartels Aug 6 at 21:26
  • @Learner You've had honoured suggested, which would work in this case. – marcellothearcane Aug 6 at 21:29
  • I don't think its idiomatic to use "upheld" as a past participle adjective. Something can't be upheld in a vacuum; someone has to uphold it. "Their rights have been upheld" is idiomatic. – Andrew Aug 7 at 2:57
9

Idiomatically, 'protected' is by far the most common collocation.

From Google (including the quotation marks),

  • "civil rights are protected" 272,000 results
  • "civil rights are respected" 87 results
  • "civil rights are upheld" 78 results
  • "civil rights are honored" 43 results
  • "civil rights are ensured" 31 results
  • 3
    Google NGrams is a useful tool for finding usage of phrases. – marcellothearcane Aug 5 at 16:45
  • 1
    Yes, I tried Google Ngrams, but it didn't return any results for "civil rights are honored" and "civil rights are upheld", so I just used Google search results. For 'protected' ,'respected', "ensured', Google Ngrams does corroborate the idiomatic usage of 'protected'. – John Duda Aug 5 at 17:06
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    These numbers appear to be wildly wrong, based on my own attempt to reproduce them. Going by the approximate number of results reported on the first page of the Google results, the respected number is three orders of magnitude off - I see "About 79,000 results", not 87. By the number of actual links shown if you page through the results, protected is three orders of magnitude off in the other direction; it has only 12 pages of results, for 120 results total. (120 is apparently "about 272,000" in Google arithmetic.) By either metric, you're enormously overstating the difference here. – Mark Amery Aug 6 at 10:47
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    I think that protected is stronger than not violated. It works in the two original examples, since the government has the positive duty to protect rights and not merely the negative duty not to violate them, but it doesn't work in the new example. And even in the original examples, it's saying something stronger than the other answers. – Toby Bartels Aug 6 at 21:25
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    At the end of those 12 (14 for me) pages, google states: 'In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 132 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.' ... of course very similar can mean exact duplicates (and a quick check confirms this happens at least once on the first page), which suggests issues such as 'protected' appearing on larger websites with mirrored servers. Which is a good example of why ngrams is a better source. – Isaac Aug 7 at 10:12
1

intact - It seemed to me that it was used with rights reasonably often, and a web search seems to support that (examples below). Definitions:

(BrEng) untouched or unimpaired; left complete or perfect

(AmEng) with nothing missing or injured; kept or left whole; sound; entire; unimpaired

Collins

untouched especially by anything that harms or diminishes

Merriam-Webster

In your sentences:

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly intact.

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but intact.

Some examples from the web:

"Five more senseless deaths, but Second Amendment rights are intact" - link

"If parental rights are intact, it must be determined..." - link

"...and do whatever we can to make sure refugee rights are intact in Canada." - link

  • FWIW, your first dictionary synonym, "their civil rights are unimpaired," strikes me as preferable to "their civil rights are intact." – Quuxplusone Aug 7 at 17:48
1

I would recommend 'observed'.

From Lexico:

  1. Fulfil or comply with (a social, legal, ethical, or religious obligation)

From Merriam-Webster:

1 : to conform one's action or practice to (something, such as a law, rite, or condition) : comply with
// failed to observe the law and as a consequence had to pay a fine

  • 1
    It was my first thought. BTW, you have a typo (Merriam-Webster). – KannE Aug 7 at 16:49
  • @KannE Thanks! Took me a minute to spot that even though you told me exactly what it was! – Craig H Aug 7 at 17:19
-1

I'm thinking "[well-]preserved" works well here.

From Merriam-Webster: "kept in good condition over a long period of time."

From Dictionary.com: "having been maintained in good condition."

In your examples:

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly well-preserved.

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but preserved.

  • Preserved by itself maybe. I think well-preserved suggests rather "aging gracefully" – Andrew Aug 7 at 2:53
  • 1
    The thing about "preserved" (especially in your sentence "their civil rights are fairly well-preserved") is that it connotes the ominous idea of "..for now." At the very least it connotes an idea of preserving against some enemy which is so natural that it needn't even be stated explicitly. For whatever reason, I don't get the same ominous connotation with verbs like "upheld" or "respected." – Quuxplusone Aug 7 at 17:45
-2

The first word I thought of was represented.

[Merriam-Webster]
2 : to serve as a sign or symbol of
// the flag represents our country
6 a(3) : to manage the legal and business affairs of
// athletes represented by top lawyers and agents
6 b : to serve especially in a legislative body by delegated authority usually resulting from election


The specific context of the question is not given. But in this sense, the assumption is that a spokesperson who speaks on behalf of (or fights for) an individual—or a symbol that portrays somebody's beliefs—is representing the rights of the individual.

  • A lawyer is advocating for a client in court.
  • A politician is setting policy in line with a citizen's liberties.
  • A reporter is defending the actions of somebody.

So:

Their civil rights are violated. That is not true, their civil rights are fairly represented.

They said that, contrary to what your media tells people, in this country human rights are not violated but represented.

In the latter sentence, the media could be reporting one thing (not representing human rights), but government and law could be doing something different (actually representing human rights).

-6

fairly balanced

This is an idiom that needs a bit of explanation.

The image of Justicia holding a scale is ages old. Civil Rights are not absolute, in contrast to the ideal of basic Human Rights, because they are constantly at odds. The Law then has to judge which rights take precedent, often on a case by case basis. Optimally, this leads to an equalibrium. The balance is always in flux, hence the ambiguous qualifier fairly is needed.

Fairness has become an idiom on its own and as such should not need much of an explanation here. Grammatically, the adverb gives a sense of activity, that would be missing if left out: is balanced in a stative sense would mean stable.

protected by tchrist Aug 7 at 2:00

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