• Are We Violating the Human Rights of the World’s Poor? Responses to Four Critics (+)

    Stimulated by the challenging reactions of four critics, this essay clarifies and elaborates a view the author had laid out in an earlier issue of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. The author begins with a brief summary account and defense of his main thesis and then expands on various aspects of it by engaging his critics one by one.

    The existing international discourse on human rights is focused on the interactional responsibilities of states, with heavy emphasis on their negative duty to respect, and their positive duties to protect and to fulfill, their own citizens‘ human rights. Some institutional responsibilities have been belatedly recognized in the wake of the United Nation‘s General Comment on the Right to Adequate Food, which assigns states a positive duty to facilitate human rights fulfillment through appropriate institutional reforms: to proactively engage in activities intended to strengthen people‘s access to the objects of their human rights. I extend this thought by emphasizing that states and other human agents also have negative duties not to contribute to the design and imposition of institutional arrangements that foreseeably produce reasonably avoidable human rights deficits. In terms of content, this duty does not add anything to the now recognized duty to facilitate.
    Pogge, Thomas (2014) “Are We Violating the Human Rights of the World’s Poor? Responses to Four Critics,” Yale Human Rights and Development Journal: Vol. 17: Iss. 1, Article 3.

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