Freedom from Our Social Prisons: The Rise of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

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Lexington Books, 2008 - Political Science - 255 pages
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The purpose of this book is to provide a belief system to empower people using the democratic system and human rights law. This author contends that neo-liberalism has created a large underclass and has impinged upon the right to development for those who do not fit into the "neo-liberal square." Economic, social, and cultural rights, which have been rising in importance within the United Nations and have been denied to many, can be implemented using the core minimum obligations as defined by the General Comments of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This will go a long way toward civilizing neo-liberalism. Core minimum obligations such as ensuring basic shelter and housing and essential primary health care only amount to "top-down" provisions. This book argues that people are most likely to become aware of their human rights if these rights are taught using a more elementary, "bottom-up" approach. Consequently human rights education should also be regarded as a core minimum obligation especially given that the people of the world have been deliberately kept ignorant of what constitutes basic human rights. Human rights education will enable people to decide through the democratic process whether they want to see economic, social and cultural rights included in domestic human rights law.
 

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Contents

The Rise of Economic Social and Cultural Rights
1
Political Tolerance and Core Minimum Obligations
25
The Politics of Human Rights and the Liberal Oligarchy
45
The History of Economic Social and Cultural Rights and the Most Disadvantaged
71
Lack of Will for Social Justice for the Most Disadvantaged at the UN
113
Conclusion
161
Appendices
177
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
184
International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
206
Draft Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
219
The Declaration on the Right to Development
229
Bibliography
235
Index
247
About the Author
255
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About the author (2008)

Anthony George Ravlich is founder and chairperson of the Human Rights Council Inc. in New Zealand.

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