Debating Economic and Social Rights

Photo:Shutterstock/Donatas Dabravolskas (All rights reserved)

Photo: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock (All rights reserved)

Are legal protections useful to activists fighting poverty?

Almost 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gave equal recognition to economic and social rights, alongside civil and political rights. Yet there is continued controversy as to whether the human rights to food, housing, education, or health deserve such recognition or are properly the subject of legal protection and adjudication. Why?

Is it simply a reflection of a political bias that distrusts the welfare state model that is supposedly implicit in programs to fulfil these rights? Or are there genuine differences between, for example, a right to food and a right to free speech that suggest only the latter can be protected effectively through law and the courts? In any case, should struggles for social justice rely on the courts? How does the reframing of these struggles in the language of human rights help?

 

 

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Español

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Putting universality into the Universal Periodic Review

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BY: Allison Corkery 
Español

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The UK government cannot reconcile austerity measures with human rights

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BY: Jamie Burton & Alice Donald & Koldo Casla

UK governments have claimed austerity measures are necessary while ignoring ...

The International Labour Organization: workers rights champion or 90-pound weakling?

July 18, 2016
BY: Gordon Digiacomo

The ILO oversees the global protection of workers’ rights. It should consider ...

Using budget analysis to confront governments: what practitioners need to know

May 2, 2016
BY: Ian Allen & Megan Manion & Thandi Matthews & Robert Ralston

Millions of dollars that could address socio-economic disparities are ...

Where’s the evidence? Moving from ideology to data in economic and social rights

January 27, 2015
BY: Octavio Luiz Motta Ferraz
Español | Português

To advance the polarized openGlobalRights debate on economic and social ...

Open budgets, open politics?

October 30, 2014
BY: Dan Berliner
Español | Français

Budget transparency has the potential to make governments more accountable, ...

Workers’ rights really are human rights

October 21, 2014
BY: Virginia Mantouvalou

Workers’ rights are human rights, and we have a moral and legal obligation ...

Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor

September 25, 2014
BY: Helena Hofbauer
Español | Bahasa | Français | 简体中文

Recent research reveals the impact that international covenants could ...

Beyond the courts – protecting economic and social rights

September 22, 2014
BY: Irene Khan  & David Petrasek
Français | Español | العربية

The overlapping and interdependent nature of human rights suggests efforts ...

Yes, economic and social rights really are human rights

August 8, 2014
BY: Stanley Ibe
Español

The argument that socio-economic rights are not “real” human rights is ...

Human rights and social justice: the in(di)visible link

July 3, 2013
BY: Ignacio Saiz & Alicia Ely Yamin

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