Human Rights and Vertical Economic Inequality
Organized within the framework of Human rights, Economic Development and Globalization (HEDG) of Law Clinic of Sciences Po Law School, the project Human Rights and Inequality in partnership with The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, explores the links between economic inequalities and human rights. Economic inequalities are taking an increasing role in public discussions. In this context, the human rights analysis of economic inequalities, and the response of the human rights movement, have been criticized for their weaknesses. The human rights mechanisms have addressed ‘horizontal’ economic inequalities with respect to minorities and particular groups with a shared identity, through a non-discrimination lens. However, vertical inequalities (income and wealth inequality between individuals) have received less attention and bodies focused on ESC rights, such as the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, have taken a threshold approach, insisting on access to minimum basic services. Within this framework, the project attempts to answer the following three questions:
- What is the substantive position and potential contribution of human rights to the debates on economic inequalities? What legal framework(s) may be applicable, and what is or could be the normative position of the law on the issue? In particular, can human rights address economic inequalities per se or must it focus on the impact it has on particular rights or on particular groups?
- What is the potential and limitations of human rights, as a tool and a tactic, to address economic inequalities?
- Based on the understanding from questions 1 and 2, how and where can human rights be activated as a useful tool? In particular, how can human rights actors better work with actors from other fields, such as economics, sociology, and politics? What are the data, information or analysis that human rights actors would need from other fields in order to be able to more effectively address economic inequalities (e.g. data on specific human rights related indicators?), and what are the actions that human rights actors could take to activate findings from other fields (e.g. litigation on the basis of an economic analysis)?
Étudiantes : Katherine James, Beth Munro et Caroline Noyrez
Tuteurs : Jeremy Perelman et Bruno Sousa Rodrigues