Gaby Oré Aguilar https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/5556/all cached version 08/02/2019 23:17:56 en Tackling inequality as injustice: four challenges for the human rights agenda https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/tackling-inequality-as-injustice-four-challenges-for-h <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Human rights can help confront economic inequality, but four conceptual, normative, strategic and methodological challenges must be overcome. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate,<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank"> economic inequality and human rights</a>. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/lutter-contre-les-in-galit-s-en-tant-qu-injustice-quat" target="_blank">Français</a>, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/enfrentar-la-desigualdad-como-injusticia-cuatro-desaf-os-para-la-agenda" target="_blank">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Over the last three months, openGlobalRights has brought together leading practitioners from various fields to debate economic inequality from a human rights perspective. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">In framing the discussion, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri" target="_blank">we argued</a> that the worldwide pattern of growing disparity between rich and poor, and the steadily increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny elite, is one of the critical public policy issues of our time and a defining feature of our global economic order. A recent report from <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/economy-1" target="_blank">Oxfam</a> reveals that the inequality crisis has reached new extremes, with the richest 1% now owning more than the rest of the world combined. Yet the implications for human rights of this alarming phenomenon have barely received attention from the human rights community. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The contributors to the debate so far are among the growing number of human rights thinkers and practitioners who are breaking this silence. Drawing on the threads of the debate, this article proposes four essential tasks for the human rights movement as it comes to grips with the conceptual, normative, strategic and methodological challenges that addressing economic inequality poses.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Conceptualizing economic inequality as a human rights concern</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/it-s-about-values-human-rights-norms-and-tolerance-for-inequalit" target="_blank">Sakiko Fukuda-Parr</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> points out, most of the contributions to the debate so far see extreme economic inequality as a threat to human rights for instrumental reasons, for example because it skews access to political participation or to the goods and services people need to realize their rights to health, education or housing. She urges us to go further in seeing extreme inequality as an inherent injustice. In stark contrast, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/human-rights-and-age-of-inequality" target="_blank">Samuel Moyn</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> maintains that “even perfectly realized human rights are compatible with radical inequality”.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What, then, is the relationship between extreme economic inequality and human rights—an intrinsic injustice, an instrumental threat or an independent phenomenon? &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Economic inequality is clearly a human rights concern where it can be shown to be a cause or consequence of human rights violations. The link between rising inequality and economic and social rights abuses has come to the fore very clearly in the recent context of austerity and recession in many countries.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Take the example of Spain. The country has experienced a sharp rise in income inequality since the economic crisis of 2008, becoming one of the most unequal in Europe. As the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://cesr.org/downloads/FACTSHEET_Spain_2015_web.pdf" target="_blank">Center for Economic and Social Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (CESR) has shown, one of the many causal factors behind this trend is the stagnation of the minimum wage at a level way below the threshold established in European social rights treaties, while high-income earners have been privileged by a regressive and discriminatory tax structure conducive to tax evasion and avoidance. Growing income inequality can thus be directly attributed to a breach of the government’s human rights obligations in the sphere of labour and fiscal policy. In turn, escalating economic inequality in Spain has led to widening disparities in access to health, housing and other economic and social rights.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A woman gives change to a homeless woman in Madrid, Spain—a city ranked one of the most economically segregated in Europe.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Studies drawing on experiences from other countries have also shown how extreme inequality can result in chronic human rights deprivations more indirectly by fuelling </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/IEDebt/Pages/IEDebtIndex.aspx" target="_blank">financial crises</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://web.worldbank.org/archive/website01306/web/pdf/wdr%20background%20paper_stewart.pdf" target="_blank">armed conflict</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/todd-landman/inequality-is-more-than-just-problem-for-developing-countries" target="_blank">state repression</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.pdf" target="_blank">political capture</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. As </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/how-inequality-threatens-all-human-rights" target="_blank">Balakrishnan and Heintz</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> emphasize, these are conditions in which all human rights are systemically placed at risk.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Beyond being a symptom or a determinant of human rights deprivations, can extreme economic inequality be considered intrinsically incompatible with human rights standards? What exactly do these have to say about economic inequality?</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Articulating the normative basis for addressing economic inequality</span></h3><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While international human rights law says little explicitly about the level of economic inequality that can be reconciled with human rights fulfilment, a strong normative framework for addressing inequality and redressing its consequences can be built on several complementary pillars of human rights principles.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First, international human rights law does directly address questions of resource distribution. The widely-ratified International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) obliges States to devote the “maximum available resources” to ensure their progressive fulfilment, and to guarantee a minimum core of rights enjoyment to all, without discrimination or retrogression. Where minimum essential levels of these rights have not been achieved universally, or where there is a notable deterioration in rights enjoyment, a government may be in breach of these obligations if it has not explored all appropriate measures to generate and redistribute resources, such as progressive taxation and social transfers. It would have a particularly strong case to answer if persistent or worsening deprivation co-exists with rising wealth concentration.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, equality and non-discrimination norms also require states to redistribute resources in order to reduce disparities in human rights outcomes and ensure </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2510287" target="_blank">substantive equality</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for groups facing gender, racial or other forms of discrimination, including in the economic sphere. Other </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a60961f2.html" target="_blank">non-discrimination</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> provisions of international standards also provide a potential foothold for challenging regressive policies skewed against the poor as discriminatory on grounds of economic and social status, though in practice they have been woefully under-utilized to this end by courts and human rights monitoring bodies.</span></p><p><span class="print-no mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Human rights standards may not make explicit reference to economic inequality, yet they have much to say about the policies and practices that give rise to it.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Third, human rights standards contain a wealth of provisions regarding the determinants of economic inequality—that is, the policy interventions that most directly produce or contain it. Numerous </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21653596-anthony-atkinson-godfather-inequality-research-growing-problem-mind-gap" target="_blank">recent studies</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> concur that the roots of the current escalation in inequality lie in the erosion of </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/inequality-human-dignity-and-power-of-unions" target="_blank">labour rights,</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> the undermining of public services and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unescap.org/resources/time-equality-role-social-protection-reducing-inequalities-asia-and-pacific" target="_blank">social protection</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> systems, biased </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://law.emory.edu/elj/_documents/volumes/64/online/hsu.pdf" target="_blank">financial regulation</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and regressive </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/pol092515a.htm" target="_blank">fiscal policies</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> skewed towards the better off, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2015/4/progress-of-the-worlds-women-2015" target="_blank">economic policies that discriminate against women</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.pdf" target="_blank">capture of democratic decision-making</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by self-serving elites. Human rights standards may not make explicit reference to economic inequality, yet they have much to say about the policies and practices that give rise to it.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These normative foundations can be buttressed by a fourth cluster of human rights standards—for example, on the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/development/pages/developmentindex.aspx" target="_blank">right to development</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">—that seek to tackle wealth disparities between states and to promote respect for human rights in cross-border economic relations. In practice, these have to contend with competing legal regimes governing international finance, trade and taxation, which have been shown to reinforce economic inequality across and within countries. Promoting respect for extraterritorial human rights duties in economic, tax and trade agreements would therefore be a fundamental step towards tackling structural global inequalities.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While each of these four clusters of norms would benefit from further elaboration and application by courts and other enforcement mechanisms, taken together, they form the basis of a robust normative framework for anchoring a human rights concern about extreme economic inequality.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Developing strategies for accountability</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Even if the links can be conceptually and normatively established, of what use are the tools and instruments of human rights in tackling economic inequality? Moyn laments that the human rights community has been little more than “a helpless bystander of market fundamentalism”, due, he says, to the limited enforceability of economic and social rights guarantees. Yet the value of framing extreme economic inequality as a human rights concern is to be able to hold governments and others accountable for the policy injustices underpinning it. Fukuda-Parr underscores this when she says that human rights can help fill the ethical void in economics and make a vital contribution to contemporary efforts to reverse the inequality trend.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In fact, human rights activists are already engaging with various accountability mechanisms to challenge unjust inequalities resulting from human rights violations. Regressive tax policies which exacerbate inequality by placing a disproportionate burden on the poor have been overturned before </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/niko-lusiani/let’s-get-fiscal-–-human-rights-advocates-are-tackling-tax-injustice" target="_blank">constitutional courts</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> using human rights arguments, while discriminatory fiscal austerity measures in different countries have been reviewed and critiqued by </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/cidh_fiscalidad_ddhh_oct2015.pdf" target="_blank">regional</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1682" target="_blank">international</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> human rights oversight bodies.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A number of important strategic opportunities have emerged to step up these efforts. Reducing inequality within and between countries is one of the 17 recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 10 commits all states to progressively reduce income inequality by 2030, including by adopting fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and improving the regulation of global financial markets and institutions. As national plans for SDG implementation are devised across the globe, the human rights community has an important role to ensure that robust inequality-reduction programs are indeed implemented, and anchored in existing human rights and anti-discrimination commitments.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Political leaders across the globe and international economic governance bodies such as the World Bank and IMF are increasingly voicing concern about the harmful consequences of extreme inequality, though as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/philip-alston/extreme-inequality-as-antithesis-of-human-rights" target="_blank">Alston</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> points out, these have yet to lead to meaningful policy changes. International human rights bodies, including several UN </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx" target="_blank">special rapporteurs</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, are also beginning to question the compatibility of extreme inequality with human rights, and to call for a more effective response from the human rights regime. Human rights activists have a crucial role to play in nudging these institutions to play their accountability and governance functions more effectively.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Adapting methodologies for measuring, monitoring and mobilizing</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Several contributors ask whether the human rights community is equipped to play this role. Moyn, for example, questions whether advocating for the policy changes needed to reduce inequality lends itself to human rights mobilization. Tracking economic inequalities, linking them to breaches of human rights obligations and seeking accountability and appropriate remedies can be methodologically challenging, as it requires engagement with tools of analysis and advocacy more familiar to economists and development practitioners than to human rights defenders. But as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/uneven-playing-field-inequality-human-rights-and-taxation" target="_blank">Jiménez</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> argues, inter-disciplinary collaboration can help build the evidence and make an effective case for equality-enhancing policy alternatives. CESR, for example, has teamed up with development NGOs and tax justice campaigners to expose the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8wrThB3zY" target="_blank">fiscal injustices fuelling inequality</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and to </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/Switzerland_CEDAW_Submission_TaxFinance_1mar2016.pdf" target="_blank">hold governments accountable</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, as well as to propose human rights-centered </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1808" target="_blank">metrics of inequality</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> under the SDGs.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Moreover, campaigns such as Oxfam’s </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/even-it-up" target="_blank">Even it Up</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> indicate that a groundswell of ordinary people across the globe believe that extreme inequality is morally untenable, and can be mobilized into doing something about it. Human rights add to the discursive power of such campaigns by shifting understandings of extreme inequality as neither natural nor inevitable, but an injustice resulting from deliberate policy choices serving the interests of the few. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>Widening economic disparities are a defining characteristic of the prevailing economic regime, rather than an incidental or accidental by-product of it. Wealth is hemorrhaging upwards rather than trickling down. While influential <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10536.html" target="_blank">philosophers</a> may argue that it is absolute deprivation, not relative inequality, that is of intrinsic moral significance, human rights advocates on the ground cannot remain impervious to the ways in which state-sanctioned wealth concentration drives impoverishment. As in previous eras, policies aimed at a more just distribution of resources can be put in place when there is sufficient social consensus and political will to do so. If human rights are to be a countervailing force against the polarization being wrought by the dominant neoliberal economic paradigm, rather than a helpless bystander to it, their egalitarian potential needs to be more fully tapped.</p> <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=' http://www.openglobalrights.org/tackling-inequality-as-injustice-four-challenges-for-h/'" /><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri">Introducing the debate on economic inequality: can human rights make a difference? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/it-s-about-values-human-rights-norms-and-tolerance-for-inequalit">It’s about values: human rights norms and tolerance for inequality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/human-rights-and-age-of-inequality">Human rights and the age of inequality</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/uneven-playing-field-inequality-human-rights-and-taxation">An uneven playing field: inequality, human rights and taxation</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/philip-alston/extreme-inequality-as-antithesis-of-human-rights">Extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/how-inequality-threatens-all-human-rights">How inequality threatens all human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/todd-landman/inequality-is-more-than-just-problem-for-developing-countries">Inequality is more than just a problem for developing countries</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/inequality-human-dignity-and-power-of-unions">Inequality, human dignity and the power of unions</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Ignacio Saiz Gaby Oré Aguilar Global Economic Inequality and Human Rights Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:30:00 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar and Ignacio Saiz 100926 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Enfrentar la desigualdad como injusticia: cuatro desafíos para la agenda de derechos humanos https://www.opendemocracy.net/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/enfrentar-la-desigualdad-como-injusticia-cuatro-desaf-os-para-la-agenda <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>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 <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank">la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos.</a>&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/tackling-inequality-as-injustice-four-challenges-for-h" target="_blank">English</a>,&nbsp;</em></strong><strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/lutter-contre-les-in-galit-s-en-tant-qu-injustice-quat" target="_blank">Français</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Durante los últimos tres meses, openGlobalRights ha reunido a destacados profesionales de diversos campos para debatir sobre la desigualdad económica desde una perspectiva de derechos humanos. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Al plantear la discusión, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducci-n-al-debate-sobre-la-desigualdad-econ-mica-" target="_blank">argumentamos</a> que el patrón mundial de creciente desigualdad entre los ricos y los pobres, y el aumento constante de la concentración de capital en manos de una élite reducida, representan uno de los temas de políticas públicas críticos de nuestra época y una característica definitoria del orden económico mundial. Un informe reciente de <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/economy-1" target="_blank">Oxfam</a> revela que la crisis de desigualdad ha alcanzado nuevos extremos: el 1 % más rico ahora posee más que el resto del mundo en conjunto. Sin embargo, las consecuencias para los derechos humanos de este alarmante fenómeno apenas han recibido atención por parte de la comunidad de derechos humanos. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Los autores que han participado en este debate hasta el momento son algunos de los cada vez más numerosos analistas y profesionales de derechos humanos que están rompiendo el silencio. A partir de los hilos del debate, este artículo propone cuatro tareas esenciales para el movimiento de derechos humanos conforme enfrenta los desafíos conceptuales, normativos, estratégicos y metodológicos derivados de lidiar con la desigualdad económica.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Conceptualizar la desigualdad económica como un problema de derechos humanos</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Como señala </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/es-cuesti-n-de-valores-las-normas-de-derechos-humanos-y-la-toler" target="_blank">Sakiko Fukuda-Parr</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, la mayor parte de las contribuciones al debate hasta el momento ven la desigualdad económica extrema como una amenaza a los derechos humanos por razones instrumentales. Por ejemplo, porque distorsiona el acceso a la participación política o a los bienes y servicios que requieren las personas para hacer realidad sus derechos a la salud, la educación o la vivienda. La autora nos insta a ir más allá y ver la desigualdad extrema como una injusticia inherente. En marcado contraste, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/los-derechos-humanos-y-la-era-de-la-desigualdad" target="_blank">Samuel Moyn</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> sostiene que “incluso los derechos humanos perfectamente cumplidos son compatibles con la desigualdad radical”.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Entonces, ¿cuál es la relación entre la desigualdad económica extrema y los derechos humanos: una injusticia intrínseca, una amenaza instrumental o un fenómeno independiente? &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">La desigualdad económica claramente es un problema de derechos humanos cuando puede demostrarse que es la causa o la consecuencia de las violaciones de derechos humanos. El vínculo entre el aumento de la desigualdad y las violaciones de derechos económicos y sociales ha pasado a primer plano de manera muy evidente en el reciente contexto de austeridad y recesión de muchos países.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tomemos el ejemplo de España. El país ha experimentado un fuerte aumento de la desigualdad de ingresos desde la crisis económica de 2008, lo cual lo ha convertido en uno de los más desiguales de Europa. Como ha demostrado el Centro por los Derechos Económicos y Sociales (</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://cesr.org/downloads/SPAIN.FACT.SHEET.ESP.pdf" target="_blank">Center for Economic and Social Rights, CESR</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">), uno de los numerosos factores causales detrás de esta tendencia es el estancamiento del salario mínimo en un nivel muy por debajo del umbral establecido en los tratados europeos de derechos sociales, mientras que las personas con ingresos elevados gozan del privilegio de una estructura impositiva regresiva y discriminatoria que favorece la evasión y la elusión fiscales. Por lo tanto, la creciente desigualdad de ingresos se puede atribuir directamente a un incumplimiento de las obligaciones de derechos humanos del gobierno en el ámbito de las políticas fiscales y laborales. A su vez, la escalada de la desigualdad económica en España ha provocado un aumento de las disparidades en el acceso a la salud, la vivienda y otros derechos económicos y sociales.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A woman gives change to a homeless woman in Madrid, Spain—a city ranked one of the most economically segregated in Europe.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Estudios basados en experiencias de otros países también han mostrado cómo la desigualdad extrema puede causar privaciones crónicas de derechos humanos de maneras más indirectas al estimular las </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/IEDebt/Pages/IEDebtIndex.aspx" target="_blank">crisis financieras</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://web.worldbank.org/archive/website01306/web/pdf/wdr%252520background%252520paper_stewart.pdf" target="_blank">los conflictos armados</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/todd-landman/la-desigualdad-es-algo-m-s-que-solo-un-problema-de-los-pa-ses-en-desar" target="_blank">la represión estatal</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> y </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.pdf" target="_blank">la captura política</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Como destacan </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/cómo-la-desigualdad-supone-una-amenaza-para-todos" target="_blank">Balakrishnan y Heintz</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, estas son condiciones que ponen en riesgo de manera sistemática todos los derechos humanos.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Más allá de ser un síntoma o un factor determinante de la privación de los derechos humanos, ¿se puede considerar la desigualdad económica extrema como intrínsecamente incompatible con las normas de derechos humanos? ¿Exactamente qué dicen estas normas sobre la desigualdad económica?</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Articular una base normativa para abordar la desigualdad económica</span></h3><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Aunque el derecho internacional de derechos humanos dice muy poco expresamente sobre el nivel de desigualdad económica que puede ser compatible con la satisfacción de los derechos humanos, es posible construir un marco normativo sólido para abordar la desigualdad y remediar sus consecuencias a partir de varios pilares complementarios de los principios de derechos humanos.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">En primer lugar, el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos sí aborda directamente cuestiones de distribución de recursos. El ampliamente ratificado Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (PIDESC) obliga a los Estados a dedicar “el máximo de sus recursos disponibles” a asegurar de manera progresiva la efectividad de estos derechos, y a garantizar una base mínima de disfrute de los derechos para todos, sin discriminación ni retroceso. En aquellos lugares donde no se han alcanzado los niveles esenciales de estos derechos para todos, o donde existe un marcado deterioro del disfrute de los mismos, es posible inferir que el gobierno esté incumpliendo sus obligaciones al respecto, si no ha explorado todas las medidas adecuadas para generar y distribuir recursos, como los impuestos progresivos y las transferencias sociales. Éste tendría que responder a un argumento particularmente sólido en su contra si una privación persistente o cada vez más grave coexiste con una concentración de riqueza en aumento.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">En segundo lugar, las normas de igualdad y no discriminación también requieren que los Estados redistribuyan recursos para reducir las disparidades en los resultados de derechos humanos y garantizar una </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2510287" target="_blank">igualdad sustantiva</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> para los grupos que enfrentan discriminación de género, racial o de otro tipo, incluso en el ámbito económico. También hay otras disposiciones de </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a60961f2.html" target="_blank">no-discriminación</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> en las normas internacionales que ofrecen un posible punto de apoyo para cuestionar las políticas regresivas sesgadas contra los pobres por su carácter discriminatorio por motivos de estatus social y económico; lamentablemente, su utilización en la práctica por los tribunales y los organismos de vigilancia de derechos humanos ha sido muy escasa.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="print-no mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Puede ser que las normas de derechos humanos no se refieran expresamente a la desigualdad económica, pero tienen mucho que decir acerca de las políticas y las prácticas que dan lugar a la misma.</span>En tercer lugar, las normas de derechos humanos contienen una gran cantidad de disposiciones relativas a los factores determinantes de la desigualdad económica, es decir, las intervenciones en materia de políticas que la producen o contienen de manera más directa. Muchos </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21653596-anthony-atkinson-godfather-inequality-research-growing-problem-mind-gap" target="_blank">estudios recientes</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> coinciden en que la actual escalada de desigualdad tiene sus raíces en la erosión de </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/desigualdad-dignidad-humana-y-poder-sindical" target="_blank">los derechos laborales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, el debilitamiento de los servicios públicos y los sistemas de </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unescap.org/resources/time-equality-role-social-protection-reducing-inequalities-asia-and-pacific" target="_blank">protección social</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://law.emory.edu/elj/_documents/volumes/64/online/hsu.pdf" target="_blank">regulación financiera</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> inequitativa y las &nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/pol092515a.htm" target="_blank">políticas fiscales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> regresivas sesgadas a favor de los más ricos, las </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unwomen.org/es/digital-library/publications/2015/4/progress-of-the-worlds-women-2015" target="_blank">políticas económicas que discriminan a las mujeres</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> y la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-es_3.pdf" target="_blank">captura de la toma de decisiones democrática</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> por las élites egoístas. Puede ser que las normas de derechos humanos no se refieran expresamente a la desigualdad económica, pero tienen mucho que decir acerca de las políticas y las prácticas que dan lugar a la misma.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Estos fundamentos normativos se pueden reforzar con un cuarto grupo de normas de derechos humanos (por ejemplo, en relación con el </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/development/pages/developmentindex.aspx" target="_blank">derecho al desarrollo</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">) que tratan de combatir las disparidades de riqueza entre los Estados y promover el respeto de los derechos humanos en las relaciones económicas transfronterizas. En la práctica, estas normas tienen que competir con regímenes normativos encontrados que rigen la tributación, el comercio y las finanzas internacionales, los cuales han demostrado reforzar la desigualdad económica entre y dentro de los países. Por lo tanto, promover el respeto de las obligaciones extraterritoriales de derechos humanos en los acuerdos económicos, tributarios y comerciales sería una medida fundamental para enfrentar las desigualdades estructurales a nivel mundial.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Aunque a cualquiera de estos cuatro grupos de normas le vendría bien un mayor desarrollo normativo más exhaustivo y su aplicación por parte de los tribunales y otros mecanismos de rendición de cuentas, en conjunto, constituyen la base de un marco normativo sólido para fundamentar un posicionamiento de derechos humanos sobre la desigualdad económica extrema.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Desarrollar estrategias para la rendición de cuentas</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Aún si es posible establecer vínculos conceptuales y normativos, ¿de qué sirven las herramientas y los instrumentos de derechos humanos en la lucha contra la desigualdad económica? Moyn se lamenta de que la comunidad de derechos humanos ha sido poco más que “un espectador impotente del fundamentalismo de mercado”, debido, afirma, a la limitada aplicabilidad de las garantías de derechos económicos y sociales. No obstante, el valor de plantear la desigualdad económica extrema como un problema de derechos humanos es la posibilidad de pedir rendición de cuentas a los gobiernos y otros actores por las políticas injustas que la sustentan. Fukuda-Parr subraya esta posibilidad cuando dice que los derechos humanos pueden ayudar a llenar el vacío ético en la economía y hacer una contribución decisiva a los esfuerzos actuales para revertir la tendencia de la desigualdad.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">De hecho, los activistas de derechos humanos ya están trabajando con diversos mecanismos de rendición de cuentas para cuestionar las desigualdades injustas que resultan de las violaciones de derechos humanos. Mediante la presentación de argumentos de derechos humanos ante los </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/niko-lusiani/vamos-meternos-con-el-fisco-los-activistas-de-derechos-humanos-se-est%C3%A1" target="_blank">tribunales constitucionales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, se han revocado políticas fiscales regresivas que exacerban la desigualdad al asignar una carga desproporcionada a los pobres, mientras que algunos organismos </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/cidh_fiscalidad_ddhh_oct2015.pdf" target="_blank">regionales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> e </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1682" target="_blank">internacionales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> de vigilancia de derechos humanos han revisado y criticado las medidas discriminatorias de austeridad fiscal en distintos países.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Una serie de importantes oportunidades estratégicas han surgido para intensificar estos esfuerzos. La reducción de la desigualdad dentro de los países y entre ellos es uno de los 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) recientemente aprobados. El objetivo 10 obliga a todos los Estados a reducir progresivamente la desigualdad de ingresos para 2030, con medidas que incluyen adoptar políticas fiscales, salariales y de protección social, y mejorar la regulación de las instituciones y los mercados financieros mundiales. A medida que se conciben los planes nacionales para la implementación de los ODS en todo el mundo, la comunidad de derechos humanos debe desempeñar un papel importante para garantizar que realmente se implementen programas sólidos para la reducción de desigualdades, y que estos estén afianzados en los compromisos existentes de derechos humanos y no discriminación.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Los líderes políticos de todo el mundo y los organismos de gobernanza económica internacional, como el Banco Mundial y el FMI, expresan cada vez más su preocupación por las consecuencias perjudiciales de la desigualdad extrema, aunque como señala </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/philip-alston/la-desigualdad-extrema-como-la-ant-tesis-de-los-derechos-humanos" target="_blank">Alston</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, aún no se han generado cambios de política significativos. Los organismos internacionales de derechos humanos, incluidos varios </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx" target="_blank">relatores especiales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> de la ONU, también comienzan a cuestionar la compatibilidad de la desigualdad extrema con los derechos humanos, y a exigir una respuesta más eficaz de parte del régimen de derechos humanos. Los activistas de derechos humanos tienen un papel fundamental que desempeñar al impulsar a estas instituciones a que cumplan sus funciones de rendición de cuentas y gobernanza de manera más eficaz.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Adaptar metodologías para la medición, el seguimiento y la movilización</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Varios colaboradores en este debate se preguntan si la comunidad de derechos humanos está preparada para desempeñar este papel. Moyn, por ejemplo, cuestiona si la promoción de los cambios en las políticas necesarios para reducir la desigualdad se presta para la movilización de derechos humanos. Rastrear las desigualdades económicas, vincularlas al incumplimiento de las obligaciones de derechos humanos y buscar la rendición de cuentas y los remedios adecuados, puede resultar complicado desde una perspectiva metodológica, ya que requiere utilizar herramientas de análisis y promoción que les son más familiares a los economistas y profesionales del desarrollo que a los defensores de los derechos humanos. Pero como sostiene </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/con-la-cancha-inclinada-desigualdad-derechos-humanos-y-tributaci" target="_blank">Jiménez</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, la colaboración interdisciplinaria puede ayudar a reunir evidencias y a desarrollar un argumento eficaz a favor de alternativas políticas que aumenten la igualdad. El CESR, por ejemplo, se ha aliado con ONG de desarrollo y con promotores de la justicia tributaria para exponer las </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8wrThB3zY" target="_blank">injusticias fiscales que alimentan la desigualdad</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> y </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/Switzerland_CEDAW_Submission_TaxFinance_1mar2016.pdf" target="_blank">llamar a cuentas a los gobiernos</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, así como para proponer </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1808" target="_blank">indicadores de desigualdad</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> centrados en los derechos humanos conforme a los ODS.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Por otra parte, campañas como </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/es/campanas/iguales" target="_blank">Iguales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> de Oxfam indican que existe una oleada de gente común de todo el mundo que cree que la desigualdad extrema es moralmente insostenible y que puede movilizarse para hacer algo al respecto. Los derechos humanos contribuyen al poder discursivo de estas campañas al transformar la percepción de la desigualdad extrema para que se le conciba como algo que no es ni natural ni inevitable, sino una injusticia que resulta de decisiones políticas deliberadas que obedecen a los intereses de unos cuantos. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>Las disparidades económicas cada vez mayores son una característica definitoria del régimen económico imperante, y no un subproducto fortuito o accidental de éste. La riqueza fluye rápidamente hacia arriba en vez de filtrarse hacia abajo. Aunque algunos <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10536.html" target="_blank">filósofos</a> influyentes pueden aducir que lo que tiene importancia moral intrínseca es la privación absoluta y no la desigualdad relativa, los defensores de derechos humanos que trabajan sobre el terreno no pueden permanecer insensibles ante las distintas formas en las que el estado permite la concentración de riqueza que genera el empobrecimiento el estado permite la concentración de riqueza que genera el empobrecimiento. Como en épocas anteriores, será posible establecer políticas diseñadas para lograr una distribución de recursos más justa cuando existan el consenso social y la voluntad política suficientes para hacerlo. Para que los derechos humanos sean un contrapeso a la polarización que causa el paradigma económico neoliberal dominante, en vez de un espectador impotente ante ella, es necesario aprovechar plenamente su potencial igualitario.</p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-translations/openglobalrights-espa%C3%B1ol "><img src=" http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4-espagnol.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/es-cuesti-n-de-valores-las-normas-de-derechos-humanos-y-la-toler">Es cuestión de valores: las normas de derechos humanos y la tolerancia a la desigualdad</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/los-derechos-humanos-y-la-era-de-la-desigualdad">Los derechos humanos y la era de la desigualdad</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/con-la-cancha-inclinada-desigualdad-derechos-humanos-y-tributaci">“Con la cancha inclinada”: Desigualdad, derechos humanos y tributación</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/philip-alston/la-desigualdad-extrema-como-la-ant-tesis-de-los-derechos-humanos">La desigualdad extrema como la antítesis de los derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/c%C3%B3mo-la-desigualdad-supone-una-amenaza-para-todos">Cómo la desigualdad supone una amenaza para todos los derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/todd-landman/la-desigualdad-es-algo-m-s-que-solo-un-problema-de-los-pa-ses-en-desar">La desigualdad es algo más que solo un problema de los países en desarrollo</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/desigualdad-dignidad-humana-y-poder-sindical">Desigualdad, dignidad humana y poder sindical</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights DemocraciaAbierta Ignacio Saiz Gaby Oré Aguilar Global Economic Inequality and Human Rights openGlobalRights Español Wed, 30 Mar 2016 08:30:00 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar and Ignacio Saiz 100955 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Lutter contre les inégalités en tant qu’injustice : quatre défis pour les droits humains https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/lutter-contre-les-in-galit-s-en-tant-qu-injustice-quat <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>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 <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rightshttps://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank">les inégalités économiques et les droits humains</a>. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/tackling-inequality-as-injustice-four-challenges-for-h" target="_blank">English</a>, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/enfrentar-la-desigualdad-como-injusticia-cuatro-desaf-os-para-la-agenda" target="_blank">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Au cours des trois derniers mois, openGlobalRights a réuni d’éminents spécialistes issus de différents domaines pour débattre des inégalités économiques sous l’angle des droits humains. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">En posant le cadre du débat, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri" target="_blank">nous avons affirmé</a> que la tendance mondiale à l’aggravation des disparités entre les riches et les pauvres, et à la concentration toujours plus forte des richesses dans les mains d’une petite élite, est l’un des principaux problèmes de politique publique de notre époque et une caractéristique déterminante de l’ordre économique mondial. Un rapport récent d’<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/fr/rapports/une-economie-au-service-des-1" target="_blank">Oxfam</a> révèle que la crise des inégalités a atteint de nouveaux extrêmes, avec les 1 % les plus riches qui possèdent maintenant plus que le reste du monde réuni. Cependant, les implications de ce phénomène alarmant sur le plan des droits humains n’ont reçu que peu d’attention de la part de la communauté des droits humains. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jusqu’à présent, les contributeurs au débat font partie du nombre croissant d’intellectuels et de praticiens spécialistes des droits humains qui brisent ce silence. Cet article s’appuie sur ce qui a été abordé lors de ce débat pour proposer quatre missions essentielles pour le mouvement des droits humains afin de faire face aux défis conceptuels, normatifs, stratégiques et méthodologiques qui se posent lorsqu’il s’agit de s’attaquer aux inégalités économiques.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Conceptualiser les inégalités économiques en tant que problème relevant des droits humains</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Comme le souligne </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/une-question-de-valeurs-les-normes-en-mati-re-de-droits-humains-" target="_blank">Sakiko Fukuda-Parr</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, la plupart des contributions qui ont, à ce jour, été apportées au débat voient les extrêmes inégalités économiques comme une menace pour les droits humains pour des raisons instrumentales, par exemple, parce que cela fausse l’accès à la participation politique ou aux biens et aux services dont les gens ont besoin pour jouir de leurs droits à la santé, à l’éducation ou au logement. Elle nous exhorte à aller plus loin en considérant les inégalités extrêmes comme une injustice fondamentale. En revanche, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/les-droits-humains-et-les-in%C3%A9galit%C3%A9s" target="_blank">Samuel Moyn</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> soutient que «&nbsp;même parfaitement appliqués, les droits humains sont compatibles avec les inégalités extrêmes&nbsp;».</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Alors quelle est la relation entre les inégalités économiques extrêmes et les droits humains&nbsp;: une injustice intrinsèque, une menace instrumentale ou un phénomène indépendant ? &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Les inégalités économiques sont clairement un problème des droits humains lorsqu’il peut être démontré qu’elles sont la cause ou la conséquence des violations des droits humains. Le lien entre l’aggravation des inégalités et les violations des droits économiques et sociaux est devenu clairement visible dans le récent contexte d’austérité et de récession dans de nombreux pays.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Prenez l’exemple de l’Espagne. Le pays a vu une augmentation brutale des inégalités de revenu depuis la crise économique de 2008, pour devenir l’un des pays les plus inégalitaires en Europe. Comme l’a montré le </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://cesr.org/downloads/FACTSHEET_Spain_2015_web.pdf" target="_blank">Centre pour les droits économiques et sociaux</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (CESR), un des nombreux facteurs de causalité de cette tendance est la stagnation du revenu minimum à un niveau nettement inférieur au seuil fixé dans les traités européens sur les droits sociaux, alors que les revenus élevés ont été privilégiés par une structure fiscale régressive et discriminatoire incitant à la fraude et à l’évasion fiscale. La hausse des inégalités de revenu peut ainsi être directement attribuée à une violation des obligations du gouvernement en matière de droits humains dans le domaine du travail et de la politique fiscale. La hausse des inégalités économiques en Espagne s’est traduite par des disparités croissantes dans l’accès&nbsp;à la santé, au logement et autres droits économiques et sociaux.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/AguilarSaiz.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A woman gives change to a homeless woman in Madrid, Spain—a city ranked one of the most economically segregated in Europe.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Les études qui s’appuient sur l’expérience vécue par d’autres pays ont également montré comment les inégalités extrêmes peuvent entraîner, de manière plus indirecte, la privation chronique des droits humains en alimentant les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/FR/Issues/Development/IEDebt/Pages/IEDebtIndex.aspx" target="_blank">crises financières</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://web.worldbank.org/archive/website01306/web/pdf/wdr%20background%20paper_stewart.pdf" target="_blank">conflits armés</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/todd-landman/inequality-is-more-than-just-problem-for-developing-countries" target="_blank">la répression étatique</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> et la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-inequality-200114-fr_0_1.pdf" target="_blank">confiscation politique</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Comme le soulignent <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/comment-les-in%C3%A9galit%C3%A9s-menacent-l%E2%80%99ensemble-des-dr" target="_self">Balakrishnan et Heintz</a>, ce sont des conditions dans lesquelles tous les droits humains sont systématiquement en danger.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">En plus d’être le symptôme ou la source des privations des droits humains, les inégalités économiques extrêmes peuvent-elles être considérées comme étant intrinsèquement incompatibles avec les normes des droits humains ? Que nous disent exactement ces normes sur les inégalités économiques ?</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Élaborer la base normative pour s’attaquer aux inégalités économiques&nbsp;</span></h3><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Alors que le droit international des droits humains est peu explicite quant au niveau d’inégalités économiques qui pourrait être compatible avec la réalisation des droits humains, un cadre normatif fort, pour s’attaquer aux inégalités et remédier à leurs conséquences, peut être développé en se basant sur plusieurs piliers complémentaires des principes des droits humains.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Premièrement, le droit international des droits humains adresse directement la question de la répartition des ressources. Le Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques et sociaux (PIDESC), qui a été largement ratifié, oblige les États à consacrer le «&nbsp;maximum de ressources disponibles&nbsp;» pour assurer leur réalisation progressive, et pour garantir un socle minimum de droits pour tous, sans discrimination ou rétrogression. Lorsque le niveau minimum essentiel de ces droits n’a pas été universellement réalisé, ou lorsqu’une détérioration notable dans la jouissance des droits est effective, un gouvernement peut être en violation de ses obligations s’il n’a pas exploré toutes les mesures appropriées pour générer et redistribuer les ressources, par exemple dans le domaine de la fiscalité progressive et des transferts sociaux. Il pourrait avoir à répondre à des arguments particulièrement solides si les privations persistent ou s’aggravent alors que la concentration des richesses s’intensifie.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Deuxièmement, les normes en matière d’égalité et de non-discrimination exigent également que les États redistribuent les ressources afin de réduire les disparités en matière de droits humains et de garantir </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2510287" target="_blank">l'égalité substantielle</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> pour les groupes en proie à la discrimination fondée sur le genre ou sur la race, ainsi qu’à toute autre forme de discrimination, y compris dans le domaine économique. Les autres dispositions sur la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain/opendocpdf.pdf?reldoc=y&amp;docid=4ae049912" target="_blank">non-discrimination</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> des normes internationales fournissent également une base solide potentielle pour remettre en cause les politiques régressives défavorables aux pauvres car discriminatoires en matière de statut économique et social, bien qu’en pratique, ces dispositions aient été dramatiquement sous-utilisées, à cette fin, par les tribunaux et les instances chargées de veiller aux droits humains.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="print-no mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Les normes des droits humains ne font peut être pas explicitement référence aux inégalités économiques, mais elles ont beaucoup à dire sur les politiques et les pratiques qui les provoquent.</span>Troisièmement, les normes des droits humains contiennent de nombreuses dispositions concernant les causes des inégalités économiques, à savoir, les interventions politiques qui les produisent directement ou qui les favorisent. De nombreuses </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21653596-anthony-atkinson-godfather-inequality-research-growing-problem-mind-gap" target="_blank">études récentes</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> conviennent que l’intensification actuelle des inégalités trouve sa source dans l’érosion des </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/inequality-human-dignity-and-power-of-unions">droits du travail,</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> dans les atteintes portées aux services publics et aux systèmes de </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unescap.org/resources/time-equality-role-social-protection-reducing-inequalities-asia-and-pacific" target="_blank">protection sociale</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, dans la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://law.emory.edu/elj/_documents/volumes/64/online/hsu.pdf" target="_blank">régulation financière</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> et les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/pol092515a.htm" target="_blank">politiques fiscales</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> régressives qui favorisent les nantis, dans les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unwomen.org/fr/digital-library/publications/2015/4/progress-of-the-worlds-women-2015" target="_blank">politiques économiques discriminatoires contre les femmes</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> et dans la </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-inequality-200114-fr_0_1.pdf" target="_blank">confiscation de la prise de décision démocratique</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> par les élites au profit de leurs propres intérêts. Les normes des droits humains ne font peut être pas explicitement référence aux inégalités économiques, mais elles ont beaucoup à dire sur les politiques et les pratiques qui les provoquent.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ces fondements normatifs peuvent être renforcés par un quatrième groupe de normes des droits humains (par exemple sur le </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/development/pages/developmentindex.aspx" target="_blank">droit au développement</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">) qui cherchent à lutter contre les disparités de richesse entre les États et à promouvoir le respect des droits humains dans les relations économiques transfrontalières. En pratique, ces normes doivent composer avec les régimes juridiques antagonistes qui régissent la finance, le commerce et la fiscalité internationale et qui renforcent les inégalités économiques entre les pays et au sein des pays. S’agissant des accords économiques, fiscaux et commerciaux, promouvoir le respect des obligations extraterritoriales relatives aux droits humains serait par conséquent une étape fondamentale dans la lutte contre les inégalités structurelles mondiales.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chaque groupe de normes se verrait renforcé par une élaboration plus poussée de la part des praticiens ainsi que par leur application devant les tribunaux et d’autres mécanismes d’application. Ceci dit, ils forment, pris ensemble, la base d’un cadre normatif solide pour que les inégalités économiques extrêmes intègrent la dimension des droits humains.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Développer des stratégies de responsabilisation</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Même si les liens peuvent être établis sur le plan conceptuel et normatif, de quelle utilité sont les outils et instruments des droits humains pour lutter contre les inégalités économiques ? Moyn déplore que la communauté des droits humains n’ait guère été qu’un «&nbsp;témoin impuissant du fondamentalisme de marché&nbsp;» en raison, dit-il, du caractère exutoire limité des garanties en matière de droits économiques et sociaux. Toutefois, l’utilité de formuler les inégalités économiques extrêmes comme un problème relevant des droits humains réside dans la possibilité de pouvoir demander des comptes, notamment aux gouvernements, pour les injustices contenues dans les politiques. Fukuda-Parr souligne ce point quand elle dit que les droits humains peuvent aider à combler le vide éthique dans le domaine économique et apporter une contribution essentielle aux efforts actuels visant à inverser la tendance à l’inégalité.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">En fait, les militants des droits humains sont déjà engagés dans divers mécanismes de responsabilité pour remettre en cause les inégalités injustes découlant des violations des droits humains. Des politiques fiscales régressives qui exacerbent les inégalités en faisant peser un fardeau disproportionné sur les pauvres ont été annulées devant les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/niko-lusiani/penchonsnous-sur-la-fiscalit%C3%A9-les-d%C3%A9fenseurs-des-droits-de-l%E2%80%99homme-s%E2%80%99a" target="_blank">Cours constitutionnelles</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> en se basant sur les droits humains, alors que des mesures d’austérité fiscale discriminatoires dans divers pays ont été revues et critiquées par les organes </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/cidh_fiscalidad_ddhh_oct2015.pdf" target="_blank">régionaux</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> et </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1682" target="_blank">internationaux</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> de surveillance des droits humains.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Un certain nombre d’opportunités stratégiques importantes ont vu le jour afin d’intensifier ces efforts. Réduire les inégalités au sein des pays et entre ces derniers, est l’un des 17 Objectifs de développement durable (ODD) récemment adoptés. L’objectif numéro 10 engage tous les États à réduire progressivement les inégalités de revenu d’ici à 2030, notamment par l’adoption de politiques fiscales, salariales et de protection sociale, et par l’amélioration de la réglementation des marchés financiers internationaux et des institutions. Alors que des plans nationaux pour la mise en œuvre des ODD sont élaborés dans le monde entier, la communauté des droits humains a un rôle important à jouer pour garantir la mise en œuvre effective de programmes solides de réduction des inégalités qui soient ancrés dans les engagements actuels en faveur des droits humains et contre la discrimination.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Les dirigeants politiques de la planète et les instances en charge de la gouvernance économique mondiale, comme la Banque Mondiale et le FMI, expriment de plus en plus leurs préoccupations sur les conséquences nuisibles des inégalités extrêmes, bien que, comme le fait remarquer <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/philip-alston/les-in%C3%A9galit%C3%A9s-extr%C3%AAmes-comme-antith%C3%A8se-des-droits-humains" target="_self">Alston</a>, cela ne se soit pas encore traduit par des évolutions significatives des politiques. Les organes internationaux de défense des droits humains, y compris plusieurs </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/undoc/gen/g15/105/92/pdf/g1510592.pdf?openelement" target="_blank">Rapporteurs spéciaux</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> de l’ONU, commencent également à questionner la compatibilité des inégalités extrêmes avec les droits humains, et à appeler à une réponse plus efficace de la part du régime des droits humains. Le rôle des militants des droits humains est essentiel pour pousser ces institutions à remplir leurs fonctions plus efficacement dans les domaines de la gouvernance et de la responsabilisation.</span></p><h3><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Adapter les méthodologies pour mesurer, contrôler et mobiliser</span></h3><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Plusieurs contributeurs se demandent si la communauté des droits humains est équipée pour jouer ce rôle. Moyn, par exemple, se demande si prôner les évolutions politiques nécessaires à la réduction des inégalités se prête à la mobilisation des droits humains. Suivre les inégalités économiques, établir un lien entre ces inégalités et les violations des obligations relatives aux droits humains, établir les responsabilités et définir les remèdes appropriés, peut soulever des problèmes méthodologiques, en raison du recours nécessaire aux outils d’analyse et de plaidoyer qui sont mieux connus des économistes et des praticiens du développement que des défenseurs des droits humains. Mais, comme l’affirme </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/uneven-playing-field-inequality-human-rights-and-taxation" target="_blank">Jiménez</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, la collaboration interdisciplinaire peut aider à établir les faits et développer un plaidoyer efficace en faveur d’alternatives politiques favorisant l’égalité. Le CESR, par exemple, a fait équipe avec des ONG du développement, et des militants en faveur de la justice fiscale, pour mettre à jour les </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8wrThB3zY" target="_blank">injustices fiscales qui alimentent les inégalités</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> et pour </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/Switzerland_CEDAW_Submission_TaxFinance_1mar2016.pdf" target="_blank">demander des comptes aux gouvernements</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, ainsi que pour proposer, dans le cadre des ODD, des </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cesr.org/article.php?id=1808" target="_blank">indicateurs d'inégalité</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> dans lesquels les droits humains occupent une place centrale.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">De plus, des campagnes, comme «&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/fr/campagnes/egalite" target="_blank">À égalité</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;! » d’Oxfam, montrent qu’une large base citoyenne, dans le monde entier, pense que les inégalités extrêmes sont moralement indéfendables et que ces citoyens peuvent être mobilisés pour agir en ce sens. Les droits humains renforcent les arguments de ces campagnes en faisant évoluer la compréhension de ces inégalités extrêmes qui ne sont plus vues comme étant naturelles ou inévitables, mais plutôt comme une injustice résultant de choix politiques délibérés servant les intérêts d’une petite minorité.</span></p><p>La hausse des disparités économiques est une caractéristique distinctive du régime économique actuel plutôt qu’un sous-produit indirect ou accidentel de ce régime. Les richesses affluent vers une petite élite plutôt que d’aller vers l’ensemble des citoyens. Si des <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10536.html" target="_blank">philosophes</a> influents peuvent affirmer que c’est la privation absolue, et non pas l’inégalité relative, qui revêt une signification morale intrinsèque, les défenseurs des droits humains qui sont sur le terrain ne peuvent pas rester insensibles à la manière dont l’appauvrissement est généré par la concentration des richesses sous l’œil bienveillant des États. Comme dans le passé, les politiques, visant à dépasser la simple répartition des ressources, peuvent être mises en œuvre lorsque le consensus social et la volonté politique allant dans ce sens sont suffisants. Pour que les droits humains puissent jouer un rôle de contrepoids face à la polarisation causée par le paradigme économique libéral dominant, plutôt que d’être un témoin impuissant, leur potentiel égalitaire doit être pleinement exploité.</p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href=" http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-translations/openglobalrights-fran%C3%A7ais"><img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4-french.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/les-droits-humains-et-les-in-galit-s">Les droits humains et les inégalités</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/philip-alston/les-in-galit-s-extr-mes-comme-antith-se-des-droits-humains">Les inégalités extrêmes comme antithèse des droits humains</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/comment-les-in%C3%A9galit%C3%A9s-menacent-l%E2%80%99ensemble-des-dr">Comment les inégalités menacent l’ensemble des droits humains</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/une-question-de-valeurs-les-normes-en-mati-re-de-droits-humains-">Une question de valeurs: les normes en matière de droits humains et la tolérance envers les inégalités</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Ignacio Saiz Gaby Oré Aguilar Global Economic Inequality and Human Rights openGlobalRights Français Wed, 30 Mar 2016 08:30:00 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar and Ignacio Saiz 100927 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Introducción al debate sobre la desigualdad económica: ¿los derechos humanos pueden marcar una diferencia? https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducci-n-al-debate-sobre-la-desigualdad-econ-mica- <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">Introducción al debate más reciente de openGlobalRights, que explora la intersección de la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri" target="_blank">English</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">El mundo ha presenciado un aumento dramático de las desigualdades de ingresos y riqueza durante las últimas tres décadas, por lo que la desigualdad económica extrema es una de las cuestiones definitorias de nuestros tiempos. Las <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-wealth-having-all-wanting-more-190115-en.pdf" target="_blank">80 personas más ricas del planeta</a> ahora poseen lo mismo que la mitad más pobre de la población mundial, mientras que 7 de cada 10 personas viven en países en los que la brecha entre los ricos y los pobres es más amplia de lo que era hace 30 años. En los Estados Unidos, el 10 % más rico representó más de la mitad del ingreso nacional total en 2012, el mayor porcentaje desde <a href="http://eml.berkeley.edu//~saez/saez-ustopincomes-2012.pdf" target="_blank">1917</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">En los últimos años, las políticas de austeridad impuestas a raíz de la crisis financiera mundial han agudizado la concentración de los ingresos y la riqueza. En muchas economías emergentes y países que están en transición de un régimen antidemocrático, el aumento o la persistencia de desigualdades económicas marcadas ha acabado con las expectativas de una sociedad más igualitaria. La desigualdad en <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/south-africa" target="_blank">Sudáfrica</a>, por ejemplo, es mayor hoy que al final del apartheid, mientras que las medidas de austeridad regresivas han intensificado las desigualdades en la problemática transición de <a href="http://cesr.org/downloads/egypt-UPR2014-poverty-austerity.pdf" target="_blank">Egipto</a>.</p><p><span>La indignación por la injusticia de la desigualdad extrema, y de las decisiones políticas no equitativas que la alimentan, ha incitado una oleada sin precedentes de movilización popular en todo el mundo. La desigualdad ha pasado al primer plano del debate político en muchos países. Se ha convertido en un elemento central de la agenda de </span><a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/" target="_blank">desarrollo</a><span> internacional, y es el tema de </span><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/even-it-up" target="_blank">campañas de desarrollo</a><span> a nivel mundial y de </span><a href="http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674430006" target="_blank">tomos académicos</a><span> muy vendidos. Incluso los bastiones de la ortodoxia económica, como el </span><a href="http://www.imf.org/external/np/fad/inequality/" target="_blank">Fondo Monetario Internacional</a><span>, han identificado la desigualdad de ingresos como un desafío central del siglo XXI.</span></p><p><span>Estos debates, sin embargo, rara vez han hecho referencia a los derechos humanos. A su vez, la comunidad de derechos humanos ha prestado muy poca atención a la desigualdad económica. Si bien las desigualdades por motivos como el género, la raza y las discapacidades han sido inquietudes centrales de derechos humanos desde hace tiempo, por lo general, el activismo y las leyes de derechos humanos no han desafiado las grandes desigualdades de estatus económico.</span></p><p dir="ltr">Sin embargo, la desigualdad extrema tiene profundas repercusiones de derechos humanos. Genera marcadas disparidades en el acceso a la salud, la educación, la vivienda y otros servicios esenciales para el disfrute de los derechos económicos y sociales. También obstaculiza la igualdad de acceso a la justicia y a la participación política. Como <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/cr-even-it-up-extreme-inequality-291014-en.pdf" target="_blank">destaca Oxfam</a>, perpetúa la pobreza y la exclusión social, que a su vez son motores clave del conflicto y la inseguridad. La desigualdad extrema es tanto una consecuencia como una causa de las privaciones de derechos humanos. Muchos de los principales factores determinantes de la desigualdad, desde la erosión de los derechos laborales y el debilitamiento de los servicios públicos, hasta la discriminación sistémica y la captura de la toma de decisiones democráticas por élites egoístas, se pueden plantear como denegaciones manifiestas de derechos humanos garantizados a nivel internacional.</p><p><span>Entonces, ¿qué explica el relativo silencio de la comunidad de derechos humanos respecto a una tendencia que plantea desafíos tan críticos a toda la gama de derechos humanos? ¿Qué puntos ciegos (normativos y conceptuales, así como estratégicos y metodológicos) deben enfrentar los profesionales de derechos humanos para hacerles frente de manera eficaz? ¿Dónde y cómo se han invocado los instrumentos de derechos humanos para hacer que los gobiernos se responsabilicen de la creciente polarización económica y las privaciones de derechos humanos que esta conlleva? ¿Y cómo pueden contribuir los derechos humanos al avance de las intervenciones políticas fundamentales que se necesitan para abordar la desigualdad, desde las reformas fiscales progresivas hasta las protecciones salariales y los pisos de protección social?</span></p><p><span>Este debate de </span><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a><span> incluye colaboraciones de personajes prominentes de los ámbitos de los derechos humanos y el desarrollo que han comenzado a abordar el tema de la desigualdad económica desde una perspectiva de derechos humanos. El debate se inicia con dos artículos contrastantes de los destacados académicos de derechos humanos, Philip Alston y Samuel Moyn. A partir de una descripción de la desigualdad extrema como la antítesis de los derechos humanos, Alston sostiene que la comunidad de derechos humanos necesita abordar la incompatibilidad entre ambos de una manera más directa, y que ya no puede ignorar las cuestiones de redistribución de recursos. Moyn, por el contrario, sostiene que el movimiento debe aceptar sus límites, ya que el marco de derechos humanos, por su propia naturaleza, no está bien preparado para lidiar con asuntos de igualdad distributiva ni para ofrecer una alternativa al fundamentalismo de mercado.</span></p><p><span>A este intercambio le seguirá la publicación, el jueves, de un artículo de los economistas Radhika Balakrishnan y James Heintz, quienes describen las numerosas maneras en las que la desigualdad económica amenaza todos los derechos humanos y exploran qué pueden decir las normas de derechos humanos sobre la distribución justa de los ingresos y la riqueza. &nbsp;</span></p><p>Otros artículos durante las siguientes semanas incluirán reflexiones sobre la experiencia de reducir la desigualdad en Latinoamérica y sobre la necesidad de responsabilizar al sector comercial por su papel en la generación, y la mitigación, de la desigualdad. Por nuestra cuenta, también desentrañaremos y responderemos a algunos de los hilos que surjan en el debate, para estimular más reacciones y colaboraciones. En general, el objetivo de este debate es ayudar a la comunidad de derechos humanos a organizar una respuesta más robusta al flagelo de la desigualdad creciente, como la característica distintiva de nuestro orden económico actual.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-translations/openglobalrights-espa%C3%B1ol "><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4-espagnol.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/los-derechos-humanos-y-la-era-de-la-desigualdad">Los derechos humanos y la era de la desigualdad</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/philip-alston/la-desigualdad-extrema-como-la-ant-tesis-de-los-derechos-humanos">La desigualdad extrema como la antítesis de los derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/c%C3%B3mo-la-desigualdad-supone-una-amenaza-para-todos">Cómo la desigualdad supone una amenaza para todos los derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/con-la-cancha-inclinada-desigualdad-derechos-humanos-y-tributaci">“Con la cancha inclinada”: Desigualdad, derechos humanos y tributación</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Gaby Oré Aguilar Ignacio Saiz Economic Inequality and Human Rights openGlobalRights Español Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:39:43 +0000 Ignacio Saiz and Gaby Oré Aguilar 98058 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Introducing the debate on economic inequality: can human rights make a difference? https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="Cuerpo">Introducing openGlobalRights’ latest debate exploring the intersection of economic inequality and human rights.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducci-n-al-debate-sobre-la-desigualdad-econ-mica-" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p class="Cuerpo">The world has seen a dramatic rise in inequalities of income and wealth over the last three decades, making extreme economic inequality one of the defining issues of our time. The <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-wealth-having-all-wanting-more-190115-en.pdf">80 richest people on the planet</a> now own as much as the bottom half of the world’s population, while 7 out of 10 people live in countries where the gap between rich and poor is greater than it was 30 years ago. In the US, the richest 10% accounted for over half of total national income in 2012, the biggest share since <a href="http://eml.berkeley.edu//~saez/saez-ustopincomes-2012.pdf">1917</a>.</p> <p class="Cuerpo">In recent years, austerity policies imposed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis have made the concentration of income and wealth more acute. In many emerging economies and countries transitioning from undemocratic rule, the rise or persistence of stark economic inequality has dashed expectations of a more egalitarian society. Inequality in <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/south-africa">South Africa</a>, for example, is greater today than at the end of apartheid, while regressive austerity measures have deepened disparities in <a href="http://cesr.org/downloads/egypt-UPR2014-poverty-austerity.pdf">Egypt</a>’s troubled transition.</p> <p class="Cuerpo">Outrage at the injustice of extreme inequality—and of the inequitable policy choices that fuel it—has spurred an unprecedented groundswell of popular mobilization across the globe. Inequality has surged to the forefront of political debate in many countries. It has become central to the international <a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality/">development</a> agenda, and the subject of global <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/even-it-up">development campaigns</a> and best-selling <a href="http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674430006">academic tomes</a>. Even the bastions of economic orthodoxy such as the <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/np/fad/inequality/">International Monetary Fund</a> have identified income inequality as a central challenge of the 21st century.<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA">These debates, however, have rarely made reference to human rights. In turn, the human rights community has paid very little attention to economic inequality. While inequality on grounds such as gender, race and disability have long been core human rights concerns, gross inequalities in economic status remain largely unchallenged by human rights law and advocacy.</p> <p class="Cuerpo">Yet extreme inequality has profound human rights implications. It results in stark disparities in access to health, education, housing and other services essential to the enjoyment of economic and social rights. It also hampers people’s equal access to justice and to political participation. As <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/cr-even-it-up-extreme-inequality-291014-en.pdf">Oxfam highlights</a>, it perpetuates poverty and social exclusion, which in turn are key drivers of conflict and insecurity. Extreme inequality is a consequence as well as a cause of human rights deprivations. Many of the key determinants of inequality—from the erosion of labour rights and the weakening of public services, to systemic discrimination and the capture of democratic decision-making by self-serving elites—can be framed as manifest denials of internationally guaranteed human rights.<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Cuerpo">What then explains the comparative silence of the human rights community on a trend posing such critical challenges to the full range of human rights? What blind spots do human rights practitioners need to confront—normative and conceptual, as well as strategic and methodological—if they are to effectively confront these? Where and how have human rights instruments been invoked to hold governments accountable for growing economic polarisation and the human rights deprivations it entails? And how can human rights help to advance the key policy interventions needed to tackle inequality, from progressive fiscal reforms to wage protections and social protection floors?</p> <p class="Cuerpo">This <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights">openGlobalRights</a> debate features contributions from prominent human rights and development figures who have begun to address the issue of economic inequality from a human rights perspective. The debate kicks off with two contrasting pieces from leading human rights academics, Philip Alston and Samuel Moyn. Describing extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/philip-alston/extreme-inequality-as-antithesis-of-human-rights" target="_blank">Alston argues </a>that the human rights community needs to address the incompatibility between the two more directly, and can no longer ignore questions of resource redistribution. Moyn, on the other hand, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/human-rights-and-age-of-inequality" target="_blank">argues</a> that the movement should accept its limits, as the human rights framework is inherently ill-equipped to deal with matters of distributive equality or to offer an alternative to market fundamentalism. &nbsp;&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Cuerpo">Their exchange will be followed on Thursday by a contribution from economists Radhika Balakrishnan and James Heintz, who outline the many ways in which economic inequality threatens all human rights and explore what human rights standards have to say regarding the just distribution of income and wealth.&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Cuerpo">Additional articles in the coming weeks will include reflections on the experience of inequality reduction in Latin America, and on the need to hold the business sector accountable for its role in generating as well as mitigating inequality. We ourselves, will also tease out and respond to some emerging threads of the debate, &nbsp;to prompt further reactions and contributions. Overall, this debate is intended to help the human rights community mount a more robust response to the scourge of widening inequality, as the defining feature of our current economic order.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/philip-alston/extreme-inequality-as-antithesis-of-human-rights">Extreme inequality as the antithesis of human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/samuel-moyn/human-rights-and-age-of-inequality">Human rights and the age of inequality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/how-inequality-threatens-all-human-rights">How inequality threatens all human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/it-s-about-values-human-rights-norms-and-tolerance-for-inequalit">It’s about values: human rights norms and tolerance for inequality</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Gaby Oré Aguilar Ignacio Saiz Economic Inequality and Human Rights Tue, 27 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0000 Ignacio Saiz and Gaby Oré Aguilar 97160 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Gaby Oré Aguilar https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/gaby-or-aguilar <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Gaby Oré Aguilar </div> </div> </div> <p>Gaby Oré Aguilar is Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights.&nbsp;</p> Gaby Oré Aguilar Mon, 26 Oct 2015 19:19:08 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar 97149 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Gaby Oré Aguilar https://www.opendemocracy.net/author-profile/gaby-or%C3%A9-aguilar <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Gaby Oré Aguilar </div> </div> </div> <p>Gaby Oré-Aguilar is deputy executive director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights and previously worked with the Ford Foundation in Chile, the Center for Reproductive Rights in the US and the Instituto de Defensa Legal in Peru.</p><p>Gaby Oré-Aguilar est directeur exécutif adjoint du Centre pour les droits économiques et sociaux et a précédemment travaillé avec la Fondation Ford au Chili, le Centre pour les droits reproductifs aux États-Unis et l’Institut de défense légale au Pérou.</p><p>Gaby Oré-Aguilar es la directora ejecutiva adjunta del Centro por los Derechos Económicos y Sociales. Trabajó anteriormente con la Ford Foundation en Chile, el Centro de Derechos Reproductivos en los EE. UU. y el Instituto de Defensa Legal en Perú.</p><div class="field field-au-shortbio"> <div class="field-label">One-Line Biography:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Gaby Oré Aguilar is a human-rights advocate specialising in international human rights and comparative law. Since 1995 she has been engaged as a litigator, legal researcher, policy analyst and grant-making officer in human-rights advocacy and gender-justice issues in Latin America and the United States. She now works as an international consultant based in Madrid </div> </div> </div> Gaby Oré Aguilar Wed, 31 Mar 2010 10:02:16 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar 53259 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Peru vs Fujimori: justice in the time of reason https://www.opendemocracy.net/article/peru-vs-fujimori-justice-in-the-time-of-reason <p> The trial of Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori on charges of human-rights violations and corruption has received less attention than some other high-profile prosecutions of ex-rulers, warlords or mercenaries. This is a pity, for it is a fascinating event that highlights issues of truth, justice and accountability that relate both to the singular <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/lo/countries/pe/pe_overview.html">history of conflict </a>in Peru during the years of Fujimori’s rule (<a href="http://www.projects.ex.ac.uk/RDavies/inca/fujimori.html">1990-2000</a>) and to the wider experience of judicial progress in Latin America. <br /> <br /> The <a href="http://www.juicioafujimori.org.pe/">trial,</a> which began on December 10 2007 and is scheduled to end in August 2008, takes place in a location specially set up for this purpose. To enter the courtroom where observers and relatives follow the day’s events is to be struck by the simple but impeccable flow of the proceedings. <br /> <br /> Access to the <a href="http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/peru/archives/043943.php">courtroom</a> is subject to security controls. A glass screen divides the hearing chamber into two. In the main area are the stand, the witnesses, lawyers, court reporter and secretaries. In the adjoining area are the relatives and supporters of the accused, international observers and relatives of the victims. The chamber is air-conditioned, there are security cameras, loudspeakers and a monitor where the faces of judges, witnesses, lawyers and the accused can be seen as they take the podium. The accused is seated facing the panel, with drinking-water and a pad for taking notes on a desk in front of him.<br /> <br /> This would not be so extraordinary were it not for the stark contrast with the conditions of the trials in which thousands of innocent people accused of terrorism were deprived of their liberty under the <a href="/article/democracy_power/politics_protest/Peru_political_timebomb">Fujimori regime</a>, in arbitrary proceedings flouting the most basic rules of due process, incommunicado detention, harsh restrictions on legal defence and unfair sentences issued by “faceless judges”. <br /> <span class="pullquote_new">Gaby Oré Aguilar is a human-rights advocate specialising in international human rights and comparative law. Since 1992 she has been engaged as a litigator, legal researcher, policy analyst and grant-making officer in human-rights advocacy and gender-justice issues in Latin America and the United States. She now works as an international consultant based in Madrid. She was an independent observer to three trial hearings in the Alberto Fujimori case in February 2008 <br /> </span><strong><br /> Days of wrath, time of justice</strong> </p> <p> In 1992, I witnessed a trial conducted in quite different conditions. It took place in the Picsi prison on the outskirts of the city of Chiclayo, where Segundo X, a 60-year-old peasant farmer from a mountain village in northeastern <a href="http://go.hrw.com/atlas/norm_htm/peru.htm">Peru</a>, faced trial by these “faceless judges” on charges of collaboration with terrorism and treason. Like many others, he was a victim of both the subversive group and of the very system which was supposed to protect him. The anti-terrorist legislation of the time allowed for civilians to be tried by civil and military courts made up of “faceless judges” for crimes of terrorism and treason in the prisons or detention places. <br /> <br /> The trial was held in a packed, stifling room a few metres square, with a hole high up in the wall serving as the only window. The anti-terrorist laws had restricted the right to legal defence of those accused of such crimes, preventing lawyers from defending more than one accused at a time. The session unfolded in front of a huge mirror (so that the judges could see us but not vice-versa) and with the judges’ voices - emerging from a single speaker - distorted for security reasons. Many of the accused could barely speak Spanish or understand the questions. It was a perverse farce resulting in a guilty verdict issued only minutes after questioning ended. <br /> <br /> Ronald Gamarra, one of the attorneys representing the victims in the Fujimori trial, has been litigating human-rights cases for more than nineteen years as a lawyer at the <a href="http://www.idl.org.pe/"><em>Instituto de Defensa Legal</em></a> (IDL), a human-rights organisation based in Lima. He has also served as anti-corruption ombudsman. For most of his professional life he has faced conditions like those described above, if not worse. “This may sound like an exaggeration, but I’ve had to plead my case in the presence of hooded members of the military who would place their guns on the table before I spoke. Those were the kinds of circumstances we had to deal with.” <br /> <strong><br /> The unthinkable becomes real </strong><br /> <br /> Carlos Ayala Araoz, a prominent Venezuelan jurist and president of the I<a href="http://www.cidh.org/what.htm">nter-American Commission of Human Rights</a> in 1998, attended one of the hearings against Alberto Fujimori as an international observer. In a press interview, he highlighted the historic nature of a trial that would have been “unthinkable ten years ago”. </p> <p> <span class="pullquote_new"><br /> Among <strong>openDemocracy&#39;s </strong>articles on conflicts and politics in Peru:<br /> <br /> John Crabtree, &quot;<a href="/node/2625">Peru: the next Andean domino?</a>&quot; (24 June 2005)<br /> <br /> Ricardo Uceda, &quot;<a href="/arts-Literature/fantasy_island_2850.jsp">Fantasy Island</a>&quot; (20 September 2005)<br /> <br /> Ricardo Uceda, &quot;<a href="/globalization-protest/peru_election_3162.jsp">Peru&#39;s election: a second leap into the void</a>&quot; (9 January 2006)<br /> <br /> Lisa Laplante, &quot;<a href="/globalization-institutions_government/peru_fear_3329.jsp">The cloud of fear: Peru&#39;s anti-terror lesson</a>&quot; (7 March 2006)<br /> <br /> Justin Vogler, &quot;<a href="/node/3433">Ollanta Humala: a Peruvian gamble</a>&quot; (7 April 2006)<br /> <br /> John Crabtree, &quot;<a href="/node/3575">Peru: the institutional deficit</a>&quot; (23 May 2006)<br /> <br /> John Crabtree, &quot;<a href="/democracy-protest/peru_ngos_4117.jsp">Peru: outing the NGOs</a>&quot; (22 November 2006)<br /> <br /> John Crabtree, <strong>&quot;</strong><a href="/democracy_power/south_america/peru_dilemmas">Peru: dilemmas of power</a>&quot; (8 June 2007) <br /> <br /> John Crabtree, &quot;<a href="/article/democracy_power/politics_protest/Peru_political_timebomb">Alberto Fujimori&#39;s return: a political timebomb</a>&quot; (28 September 2007)<br /> <br /> </span>Over the last decade, the inter-American system has steadfastly upheld human rights in the region in often difficult circumstances; as a result, extraordinary progress has been made under its auspices across Latin America in the field of criminal law and the prosecution of human-rights violators. A further spur has been the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, primarily by the Spanish courts. The <a href="/node/357">Augusto Pinochet case</a> disproved the myth that dictators were untouchable. It also offers many lessons regarding justice in Latin America, the most significant of which is highlighted by Fujimori’s extradition for trial in Peru by the government of <a href="http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38087">Chile</a> in September 2007: that democracy paves the way for truth and justice. <br /> <br /> In Peru, the opportunity for truth and justice emerged when <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4200">Abimael Guzmán</a>, head of the <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/sendero_luminoso.htm"><em>Sendero Luminoso</em></a> (Shining Path) revolutionary guerrilla movement, was caught by police intelligence in 1992. In the years following this breakthrough, Fujimori did his utmost to <a href="http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/0-271-02747-9.html">close down</a> the new legal space it had opened. Instead, he created a parallel <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/press/Books/2006/makinginstitutionsworkinperu.aspx">power-structure</a> which, with the help of the national-intelligence system and a corrupt army elite, took advantage of society’s fear of a terrorist resurgence by creating the conditions for <a href="/globalization-institutions_government/peru_fear_3329.jsp">extra-judicial</a> commando units such as <em>Grupo Colina</em> to act with impunity.<br /> <br /> At the same time, the corruption network led by the chief of national intelligence, Vladimiro Montesinos, became the true power behind the presidency (a reputation confirmed when in his <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/30/AR2008063001982.html">testimony</a> on 30 June 2008 he claimed that Fujimori had no responsibility for the violations of which he is accused). A number of spectacular military operations - such as the hostage-rescue at the Japanese embassy in 1997, with the image of a triumphant president walking through the rubble and the bodies of <em><a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/9276/">Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru</a> </em>(MRTA) members broadcast by television channels around the world - served to provide Fujimori with international support, particularly from the Japanese government. The investigations initiated into extra-judicial executions of some hostage-takers after they had given themselves up was shelved by the supreme council of military justice in 2004 following a dispute over jurisdiction with a civil court. <br /> <br /> Gamarra explains that the links between the <a href="http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/13641">corruption network</a> and the killings and human-rights violations became clear during the corruption investigations following Fujimori’s flight to Japan in 2000. In the course of the trial hearings against Fujimori, several members of the <em>Destacamento Colina</em> spoke of the money which changed hands among the intelligence officials responsible for “managing” these groups. At the time, considerations of “national security” and the “war against subversion” meant that the funds handled by the army leadership and spent by intelligence officials fell into a black hole which was never subjected to scrutiny. <br /> <br /> The campaign against corruption and social intimidation began with ordinary citizens in the streets; it was spearheaded in 2000 by the <a href="http://www.hrw.org/spanish/opiniones/2000/lima.html"><em>Marcha de los Cuatro Suyos</em></a> (the march of the four corners). The “transitional governments”, led in turn by the now deceased president Valentín Paniagua (2000-01) and his successor <a href="http://www.cosmopolis.ch/english/cosmo17/toledo_peru.htm">Alejandro Toledo</a> (2001-06), laid the foundations for legal and judicial reforms which would return the justice system to reason. But above all, they made possible the work of the <a href="http://www.cverdad.org.pe/ingles/pagina01.php"><em>Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación</em></a> (Truth and Reconciliation Commission / CVR), which in its 2003 report succeeded in establishing what has up to now been the most complete and impartial account of the years of violence in Peru. <br /> </p> <p> <strong>The victims’ defenders </strong><br /> <br /> Several lawyers acting on behalf of the plaintiffs have dedicated their professional careers to representing victims of human-rights <a href="http://www.cverdad.org.pe/ingles/desaparecidos/desaparecidos.php">violations</a>. Ronald Gamarra, Carlos Rivera and Gloria Cano have represented victims of several of the massacres and other crimes for which Alberto Fujimori is now being tried: they include Barrios Altos, <a href="http://www.csrp.org/iec/lacantuta.htm">La Cantuta</a> and other notorious cases. These figures began as jurists swimming against the tide, in one of the worst <a href="http://www.perusupportgroup.org.uk/key_human.html">human-rights contexts </a>imaginable. Now, faced with different circumstances, they have an opportunity to make judicial and ethical history in Peru. </p> <p> <span class="pullquote_new"><br /> Among <strong>openDemocracy</strong> articles on issues of justice and accountability in Latin America:<br /> <br /> Geoffrey Bindman, Juan Garces, Isabel Hilton, &quot;<a href="/node/357">Justice in the world&#39;s light</a>&quot; (15 June 2001) <br /> <br /> Mariano Aguirre, &quot;<a href="/node/3187">Failed states or weak democracies? The state in Latin America</a>&quot; (17 January 2006)<br /> <br /> Sadakat Kadri, &quot;<a href="/conflict-terrorism/wrong_way_3501.jsp">The wrong way to combat terrorism</a>&quot; (3 May 2006) <br /> <br /> Alan Angell, &quot;<a href="/democracy-protest/pinochet_regime_4174.jsp">The Pinochet regime: an accounting</a>&quot; (12 December 2006)<br /> <br /> Jorge Larraín, &quot;<a href="/democracy-protest/pinochet_death_4173.jsp%23trackbacks">Pinochet&#39;s death</a>&quot; (12 December 2006)<br /> <br /> Carlos Huneeus, &quot;<a href="/democracy-protest/pinochet_verdict_4178.jsp">Pinochet&#39;s regime: the verdict of history</a>&quot; (13 December 2006)<br /> <br /> Ivan Briscoe, &quot;<a href="/article/democray_power/politics_protest/guatemala">Guatemala: a good place to kill</a>&quot; (17 October 2007)<br /> <br /> Adam Isacson, &quot;<a href="/article/colombia-a-miraculous-rescue-and-what-comes-next">Colombia: a miraculous rescue, and what comes next</a>&quot; (7 July 2008)<br /> <br /> </span>The true measure of these lawyers’ experience and commitment is not so much the many cases they have handled but the lives they have helped repair, the wounds they have helped to heal and the hope they have kept alive in the hearts of the relatives of the victims. But they are aware that the legal defence of human rights, particularly in the context of the Fujimori trial, demands much more of them even than steadfast commitment.<br /> <br /> Carlos Rivera has been a member of the <em><a href="http://www.idl.org.pe/">Instituto de Defensa Legal</a></em><a href="http://www.idl.org.pe/"> </a>since the early 1990. He describes the understanding that underpins his work: “Early on we learned that litigation is very important. It’s in this domain that the most critical human-rights issues have been confronted and crimes investigated. Litigation is a very powerful tool, it has made it possible to challenge and overcome policies of impunity. But today, the complexity of the cases and the judicial context in which we find ourselves demand not only a good knowledge of legal theory and process, but a strong grasp of advocacy and media strategy. The professional demands are greater.” <br /> <br /> The victims’ lawyers are fully conscious of the political pressures surrounding the case. But neither politics nor the balance of power are on trial, and the independence of the judiciary and the confidence that lawyers acting for both parties have in the court are crucial to the legitimacy of the process. The court trying Fujimori - described by one of the lawyers as “the best court any accused person or relative of a victim of human-rights violations could hope for” - has at all times shown a respectful attitude towards the rules of due process (see the trial-monitoring blog <a href="/www.fujimoriontrial.org">www.fujimoriontrial.org</a>). <br /> <br /> During the hearings, Fujimori’s defence has attempted to argue under questioning that the <em>Grupo Colina</em> (or <em>Destacamento Colina</em>) was a paramilitary body, and that Fujimori knew nothing about the actions of such “detachments”. But the members of the <em>Grupo Colina</em> themselves have demolished these arguments, recounting in detail how they belonged and reported to the army hierarchy. The sordid details of massacres and killings, told in some cases without a trace of moral respect for the lives of the victims, continue to have a strong human and media impact. <br /> <br /> On the basis of the evidence, Rivera has affirmed that the <em>Destacamento Colina</em> “was part of the regular structure of the army’s intelligence system” rather than - as claimed by the defendant - a paramilitary group. On 9 April 2008, another Peruvian tribunal found various senior officers guilty of the massacre of <a href="http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/04/peru-court-sentences-4-former-military.php">La Cantuta</a> in 1992, in a ruling that could yet have a profound impact on the Fujimori trial. <br /> <br /> At this point in the proceedings, the chain of command - from the former president to the lowest ranking agents acting as the material executors - has, from the point of view of the victims’ lawyers and some observers, been sufficiently proved.<br /> <br /> <strong>The legal and symbolic value </strong><br /> <br /> The confidence that the judges inspire does not free those who are defending the rights of the victims of the onerous task of establishing new legal precedents. In the 1990s, international criminal law laid a firm foundation for the assessment of evidence in cases of crimes committed during periods of violence and armed conflict; now, the court faces the challenge of developing this body of case-law domestically. “My aim is that this court understand that the evidence of the crimes of which Fujimori stands accused must be assessed in the context of the abuse of power”, says Gamarra. <br /> <br /> The international community’s support for these efforts to restore society’s confidence in the <a href="http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Peru/peru.html">rule of law</a> is an important condition for their success. Its contribution to the work of the <em><a href="http://www.cverdad.org.pe/ingles/pagina01.php"><em>Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación</em></a></em> and to Fujimori’s extradition for trial is well-known. In this respect, ensuring that <a href="http://www.wola.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=viewp&amp;id=724&amp;Itemid=2">international observers</a> as well as the foreign press are present at the trial helps reaffirm both the justness of its outcomes and its relevance to the progress being made (in the region and beyond) in justice and democracy. <br /> <br /> Despite its turbulent political history, Latin America has resisted the reign of impunity. This effort has involved many parties, from the victims themselves to the Inter-American Human Rights system, operating and forging alliances on many fronts. The struggle against impunity has succeeded in forging a human-rights movement which for more than two generations has embarked on one of the biggest transformations of the region’s post-colonial history. <br /> <br /> “Someone has commented that this trial is a kind of extension of the <a href="http://www.cverdad.org.pe/ingles/ifinal/conclusiones.php">truth-commission</a> hearings - only this time it’s not the victims, but the perpetrators who are talking”, says Carlos Rivera, referring to the impact of the trial on public opinion. Indeed, the symbolism of the trial for Peruvian society goes beyond even this. The vast majority of the 70,000 victims of the violence were Quechua-speaking <em>campesinos</em> and <em>campesinas</em> from the most <a href="http://www.perusupportgroup.org.uk/key_economic.html">excluded</a> regions of the country. For a population which has historically mistrusted judicial institutions that operated against their interests and served only those in power, this trial is an act of reconciliation with these institutions. It may prove to be only one among many others which must be addressed if discrimination and other factors which gave rise to the violence are to be eradicated. </p> latin america Gaby Oré Aguilar Creative Commons normal Thu, 10 Jul 2008 11:49:06 +0000 Gaby Oré Aguilar 45353 at https://www.opendemocracy.net