This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the function of human rights amidst the current global economic system. It then discusses the increasing gap between rich and poor, the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development (DRD), and socio-economic rights or the right to development as a basic human right. The chapter then presents the purpose of the book, which includes exploring what the right to development contributes conceptually, and increasingly practically, to concerns related to poverty and underdevelopment in the developing world, and what the right to development offers the international human rights legal regime.
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