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Why should it matter that others have more? Poverty, inequality and the potential of international Human Rights Law

By Margot E. Salomon


A concern with ensuring minimum standards of dignity for all and a doctrine based on the need to secure for everyone basic levels of rights have traditionally shaped the way in which international human rights law addresses poverty. Whether this minimalist, non-relational approach befits international law objectives in the area of world poverty begs consideration. This paper offers three justifications as to why global material inequality – and not just poverty – should matter to international human rights law. The paper then situates requirements regarding the improvement of living conditions, a system of equitable distribution in the case of hunger, and in particular obligations of international cooperation within the post-1945 international effort at people-centred development. The contextual consideration of relevant tenets serves to demonstrate that positive international human rights law can be applied beyond efforts at poverty alleviation to accommodate a doctrine of fair global distribution

Topics: K Law (General)
Publisher: Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:32893
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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