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?

 

 

Court judgements are shaking political foundations—and upholding rights

September 14, 2017
BY: James A. Goldston
Español

In Kenya, Guatemala and Brazil, courts have defied presidents and shaken ...

Evicted rights in Spain: no room of one’s own

June 7, 2017
BY: Koldo Casla
Español

Thousands of people are being evicted in Spain due to austerity measures, ...

Human rights are not losing traction in the global South

November 22, 2016
BY: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr 
Español

In the debate on whether human rights have stalled, analysts are ignoring ...

Putting universality into the Universal Periodic Review

October 24, 2016
BY: Allison Corkery 
Español

The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review is systematically ...

The UK government cannot reconcile austerity measures with human rights

July 20, 2016
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
EspañolPortuguês

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

Open budgets, open politics?

October 30, 2014
BY: Dan Berliner
EspañolFrançais

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

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

September 25, 2014
BY: Helena Hofbauer
EspañolBahasaFrançais简体中文

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

 

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