Current human rights debate largely centres on the role of individual states in eradicating poverty either through reform in developing states, or through development assistance provided by developed states. This paper argues that international human rights law should also analyse the role of how international institutions and legal rules contribute to global poverty. It argues in favour of an obligation, founded within existing international law, for states to work towards reforming international legal rules that may cause or exacerbate poverty.
Keywords: Poverty, International law, Institutional Reform
Disability is a universal human condition. Both the Norwegian Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities focus on the importance of accessibility as an interaction between society and individuals. This article discusses in what way accessibility, as a prerequisite for participation, can be realised as a right for all individuals. Human diversity and accessibility are linked together by means of the political and ethical philosophies of Martha Nussbaum and Hannah Arendt. This article discusses universal design, and argues that as a strategy it can reduce architectural barriers and promote accessibility and equality. Protection against discrimination of people with impairments, together with improved accessibility, can bring forth a more inclusive society that accommodates human plurality.
Keywords: Accessibility, disability, UN Convention, Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act, universal design, Martha Nussbaum, Hannah Arendt
The original mandate of the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights said that he should ‘develop materials and methodologies for undertaking human rights impact assessments.’ Since then, tools for human rights impact assessment (HRIA) have developed by different actors. This article reviews two such tools, both of which are up for revision in 2010. One is by the International Finance Corporation, International Business Leaders Forum and Global Compact, the other by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. The article finds that substantive human rights and human rights principles are well understood by the former, while the latter seems to have an inadequate understanding of crucial human rights principles, such as non-discrimination, but the latter has some procedural strengths as compared to the former.
Keywords: Human Rights Impact Assessment, right to food, right to water, biofuels, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The article addresses a pertinent issue of providing support to home-based care providers in the context of HIV and AIDS. It highlights the important work performed by home-based care providers in resource-poor communities where HIV pandemic has taken its toll. Due to the severe impact of the HIV pandemic, many Southern African states are faced with challenges of providing quality care to in and out of hospital patients. In this background, home-based care has been promoted and there is an increasing number of organisations providing home-based care. However, despite the increasing importance of home-based care in communities affected by the HIV pandemic, there has been little discussion on the rights of home-based care providers and the need to apply a rights-based approach to supporting and managing home-based care provider. The article endeavours to fill the gap by examining the needs and aspirations of home-based care providers through a rights-based approach. 2I would like to especially thank Tateni home-based care organisation, which allowed me to interview and observe their voluntary home-based care providers. My special thanks to all those brave and wonderful volunteers who perform such magnificent work under difficult circumstances.
Keywords: Rights-based approach, Home-based care, Human rights, Gender, Women, HIV and AIDS, Health care
While the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) makes human rights part of both the goals and guides of the Union, it does not establish or refer to any specialised human rights organ. Therefore, one wonders if the AU has an organ to execute its human rights objectives. This also raises a question as to the status of existing human rights bodies within the structure of the AU. Despite some level of attention to the issue at different times, the AU has not clearly and formally settled the matter. This article argues for the formal recognition of specialised human rights bodies, as organs of the Union, by highlighting the importance of such recognition to boost their legitimacy, visibility and effectiveness.
Keywords: African Union, human rights, organs, status.