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Economic Inequality – Can human rights make a difference?

Extreme inequality is one of the defining issues of our time, with the gap between rich and poor widening across the globe. But while economic inequality has become a prominent issue on the international development agenda, as well as in national political debates in many countries, the human rights community has barely begun to address its implications for the full range of human rights. This oGR debate will explore the consequences for human rights of rising wealth and income inequality. How can the human rights framework help to understand its causes, as well as to push for more appropriate policy responses? What obstacles and blind-spots must the human rights community confront if human rights are to be a more effective agenda for equality in the socio-economic sphere?

Guest edited by: Ignacio Saiz and Gaby Oré Aguilar

Photo: Shutterstock/Donatas Dabravolskas (All rights reserved)

Introducing the debate on economic inequality: can human rights make a difference?

Introducing openGlobalRights’ latest debate exploring the intersection of economic inequality and human rights.


Tackling inequality: the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality will require profound changes to “business-as-usual” and close attention to human rights. Español.


Tackling economic inequality with the right to non-discrimination

Inequality may be compatible with human rights, but not if it violates the right to non-discrimination. 


Inequality, business and human rights: the new frontier?

Despite the growing urgency to address inequality, the business and human rights field has remained rather silent on the issue. Why?


Who will take the lead on economic inequality, and who should?

Human rights lack the best language and tools to describe and solve inequality’s most pernicious impacts.


How to get inequality on the global policy agenda

The Panama Papers give NGOs a prime opportunity to talk about inequality. But how they do it matters.


Everyone does better when everyone does better

For long-term social and economic stability, investments into increased economic equality are essential for everyone’s prosperity.


Tackling inequality as injustice: four challenges for the human rights agenda

Human rights can help confront economic inequality, but four conceptual, normative, strategic and methodological challenges must be overcome. Français, Español


Inequality is more than just a problem for developing countries

Advanced economies are also experiencing persistent and increasing inequality, and its effect on human rights is alarming. Español


Inequality, human dignity and the power of unions

Why does progress on equity and human rights depend more on workers’ organization than we usually think? Español


It’s about values: human rights norms and tolerance for inequality

Using principles of non-discrimination and status equality, human rights have the potential to fill the ethical void in economics. EspañolFrançais


An uneven playing field: inequality, human rights and taxation

The Latin American experience shows that progressive tax systems are crucial to reducing inequality. Español


How inequality threatens all human rights

Inequality is not only a threat to economic and social rights—it threatens the realization of all forms of rights everywhere. EspañolFrançaisالعربية


Extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights

Extreme inequality directly undermines human rights, and is a cause for shame for the human rights community. EspañolFrançaisالعربية


Human rights and the age of inequality

The human rights regime and movement are simply not equipped to challenge global inequalities. EspañolFrançaisالعربية


All articles in date order:

La lucha contra la desigualdad: el potencial de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible

Para alcanzar el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 10 sobre la reducción de la desigualdad, se requerirá cambiar profundamente el paradigma de desarrollo y dar especial atención a los derechos humanos. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. English

Tackling inequality: the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality will require profound changes to “business-as-usual” and close attention to human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights. Español.

Tackling economic inequality with the right to non-discrimination

Inequality may be compatible with human rights, but not if it violates the right to non-discrimination. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

Inequality, business and human rights: the new frontier?

Despite the growing urgency to address inequality, the business and human rights field has remained rather silent on the issue. Why? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality.

Los derechos fantasma: la marginación sistémica de los derechos económicos y sociales

Ni la ONU ni la sociedad civil están haciendo mucho por evitar la profunda resistencia de muchos Estados al reconocimiento adecuado de los derechos económicos y sociales. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre los derechos económicos y sociales. English

Phantom rights: the systemic marginalization of economic and social rights

Neither the UN nor civil society is doing much about the deep resistance of many states to proper recognition of economic and social rights. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ economic and social rights debate. Español

The vicious spiral of economic inequality and financial crises

There is compelling evidence that economic inequality is both a result of, and contributor to, economic crises. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality.

Who will take the lead on economic inequality, and who should?

Human rights lack the best language and tools to describe and solve inequality’s most pernicious impacts. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

How to get inequality on the global policy agenda

The Panama Papers give NGOs a prime opportunity to talk about inequality. But how they do it matters. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

Everyone does better when everyone does better

For long-term social and economic stability, investments into increased economic equality are essential for everyone’s prosperity. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

Tackling inequality as injustice: four challenges for the human rights agenda

Human rights can help confront economic inequality, but four conceptual, normative, strategic and methodological challenges must be overcome. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, economic inequality and human rights. Français, Español

Enfrentar la desigualdad como injusticia: cuatro desafíos para la agenda de derechos humanos

Los derechos humanos pueden ayudar a enfrentar la desigualdad económica, pero es necesario superar cuatro desafíos conceptuales, normativos, estratégicos y metodológicos. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. EnglishFrançais

Lutter contre les inégalités en tant qu’injustice : quatre défis pour les droits humains

Les droits humains peuvent aider à affronter les inégalités économiques, mais quatre défis conceptuels, normatifs, stratégiques et méthodologiques doivent être surmontés. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRights sur les inégalités économiques et les droits humains. English, Español

Inequality is more than just a problem for developing countries

Advanced economies are also experiencing persistent and increasing inequality, and its effect on human rights is alarming. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. Español

La desigualdad es algo más que solo un problema de los países en desarrollo

Las economías avanzadas también experimentan una desigualdad persistente y cada vez mayor, y su efecto sobre los derechos humanos es alarmante. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. English

Desigualdad, dignidad humana y poder sindical

¿Por qué el progreso en la igualdad y los derechos humanos depende más de la organización de los trabajadores de lo que solemos pensar? English

Inequality, human dignity and the power of unions

Why does progress on equity and human rights depend more on workers’ organization than we usually think? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequalityEspañol

Une question de valeurs: les normes en matière de droits humains et la tolérance envers les inégalités

En utilisant les principes de non-discrimination et d’égalité de statut, les droits humains ont le potentiel de combler le vide éthique dans le domaine économique. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRights sur les inégalités économiques et les droits humainsEspañolEnglish

Es cuestión de valores: las normas de derechos humanos y la tolerancia a la desigualdad

Mediante el uso de los principios de no discriminación e igualdad de condición, los derechos humanos tienen el potencial para llenar el vacío ético en la economía. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. EnglishFrançais

It’s about values: human rights norms and tolerance for inequality

Using principles of non-discrimination and status equality, human rights have the potential to fill the ethical void in economics. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.  EspañolFrançais

Introducción al debate sobre la desigualdad económica: ¿los derechos humanos pueden marcar una diferencia?

Introducción al debate más reciente de openGlobalRights, que explora la intersección de la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. English

“Con la cancha inclinada”: Desigualdad, derechos humanos y tributación

La experiencia latinoamericana demuestra que los sistemas progresivos  de tributación son cruciales para reducir la desigualdad. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights, La Desigualdad Económica y los Derechos Humanos. English

An uneven playing field: inequality, human rights and taxation

The Latin American experience shows that progressive tax systems are crucial to reducing inequality. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. Español

Cómo la desigualdad supone una amenaza para todos los derechos humanos

La desigualdad no solamente supone una amenaza para los derechos económicos y sociales; amenaza la efectividad de todo tipo de derechos en todos los ámbitos. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights, La desigualdad y los derechos humanos. EnglishFrançaisالعربية

كيف يمثل عدم المساواة خطراً على تطبيق جميع حقوق الإنسان

لا يهدد عدم المساواة تطبيق الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية فقط، ولكنه يهدد أيضاً تطبيق جميع أشكال الحقوق في كل مكان. مساهمة في النقاش على الرابط openGlobalRights في موضوع عدم المساواة وحقوق الإنسانEnglish, EspañolFrançais

Comment les inégalités menacent l’ensemble des droits humains

Les inégalités menacent non seulement les droits économiques et sociaux mais également la réalisation des droits sous toutes leurs formes et partout. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRights sur les inégalités et les droits humains.  English, Españolالعربية

How inequality threatens all human rights

Inequality is not only a threat to economic and social rights—it threatens the realization of all forms of rights everywhere. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Introducing the debate on economic inequality: can human rights make a difference?

Introducing openGlobalRights’ latest debate exploring the intersection of economic inequality and human rights. Español

Extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights

Extreme inequality directly undermines human rights, and is a cause for shame for the human rights community. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Human rights and the age of inequality

The human rights regime and movement are simply not equipped to challenge global inequalities.  A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

La desigualdad extrema como la antítesis de los derechos humanos

La extrema desigualdad socava directamente los derechos humanos, y es un motivo de vergüenza para la comunidad de derechos humanos. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights, La desigualdad y los derechos humanos. English, Françaisالعربية

Les inégalités extrêmes comme antithèse des droits humains

Les inégalités extrêmes portent directement atteinte aux droits humains et sont une raison d’avoir honte pour la communauté des droits humains. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRights sur les inégalités et les droits humains. EnglishEspañolالعربية

عدم المساواة المفرطة كنقيض لحقوق الإنسان

عدم المساواة المفرطة تقوض بشكل مباشر حقوق الإنسان، وهي مدعاة للعار لمنظمات حقوق الإنسان. مساهمة في النقاش على الرابط openGlobalRights في موضوع عدم المساواة وحقوق الإنسان.  EspañolFrançais, English

Les droits humains et les inégalités

Le régime et le mouvement des droits humains n’ont tout simplement pas la capacité de relever le défi posé par les inégalités mondiales. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRights surles inégalités et les droits humains. English, Españolالعربية

حقوق الإنسان وعصر عدم المساواة

نظام وحركة حقوق الإنسان هما ببساطة ليسا مجهزين للتصدي لتحدي أوجه عدم المساواة على المستوى العالمي. مساهمة في النقاش على الرابط openGlobalRights في موضوع عدم المساواة وحقوق الإنسان EnglishEspañolFrançais

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