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Cosmopolitanism versus Non-CosmopolitanismCritiques, Defenses, Reconceptualizations$
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Gillian Brock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199678426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678426.001.0001

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Severe Poverty as a Systemic Human Rights Violation

Severe Poverty as a Systemic Human Rights Violation

Chapter:
(p.129) 7 Severe Poverty as a Systemic Human Rights Violation
Source:
Cosmopolitanism versus Non-Cosmopolitanism
Author(s):

Elizabeth Ashford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678426.003.0007

While it is widely accepted that “the existing global economic order has grotesque effects in the form of life-threatening poverty and unequal life prospects” (Saladin Meckled-Garcia), the classification of such effects as a human rights violation is nevertheless highly contentious. Human rights violations are standardly conceived as discrete harmful actions perpetrated by a specific agent or agents against a specific victim. This chapter contends that we ought to recognize a category of systemic human rights violations, consisting in unjustifiably inflicted (or tolerated) ongoing harms that are endemic to the normal operation of social institutions or more informal social mores, and that are feasibly avoidable at reasonable cost under alternative social institutions.

Keywords:   severe poverty, human rights, systemic injustice, human rights violations, perfect duties, systemic human rights violation

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