Social and economic rights

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TAKING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS SERIOUSLY

TAKING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS SERIOUSLY

Can I briefly mention one sleight of hand that is sometimes used when discussing these issues? The argument goes that it is appropriate for a court to adjudicate on, say, inhumane treatment because it can simply tell those responsible to stop the abusive treatment. And the argument continues that it is inappropriate for a court to adjudicate on, say, shelter because this may require the court to make an order that has fiscal implications and that is the job of the legislature, not the judiciary. In my view, this argument is misleading. It is true that inhuman treatment sometimes requires a court to simply say — ‘No, stop that mistreatment’. But it also sometimes requires a court to make an order that has fiscal implications; the court may order, for example, that conditions of detention be improved. As for shelter, sometimes it also requires a court to simply say — ‘No, you cannot evict that tenant’, or ‘Stop that harassment’. And sometimes it will also require a court to make an order that has fiscal implications. It may order, for example, that a homeless person is offered a bed in a shelter. Crucially, both the prohibition against inhumane treatment and the right to adequate shelter consist of various elements, some of which have fiscal implications and some of which do not. The sleight of hand takes place when one element of one right is compared with a different element of the other right. In other words, the element of inhumane treatment that does not have fiscal implications is compared with the element of shelter that has fiscal implications. The conclusion is then erroneously reached that inhumane treatment is suitable for judicial scrutiny, while shelter is not. This conclusion is then generalised from inhumane treatment to all civil and political rights, and from shelter to all economic, social and cultural rights. Clearly, this logic is flawed.
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EU social and labour rights and EU internal market law

EU social and labour rights and EU internal market law

Public procurement contracts were seen by respondents as an area where tensions between social and labour rights and freedoms to provide services could be clearly observed. Oversight processes by public contracting authorities were sometimes weak, and as a result social and labour rights were often difficult to enforce. In Ireland, a number of union respond- ents noted that this situation could be improved by a robust transposition of the new pub- lic procurement directives (2014/23-25). Better information sharing was also called for by respondents in Ireland, particularly in tendering processes for public works contracts. The ICTU representative in Ireland was in favour of part of the payment for public works contracts to be withheld (placed in a ‘holding’ account) pending final checks for compliance with employment standards. However, the IBEC representative in Ireland felt it would be disproportionate for an organisation to be precluded from tendering for public contracts, as a result of minor breaches. Some trade unions in Ireland had sought to include social objectives through public procure- ment, promoting collective agreements as an appropriate tool for specifying social criteria to select service providers. Judges in Ireland have also ruled in favour of including clauses guaranteeing social rights. These clauses are well-suited to guarantee protection against professional accidents but it is crucial to reinforce the sanctions process and to improve collaboration with labour inspectorates. In Poland however, it was noted by employer representatives that such social clauses in public procurement were set mainly to ensure con- tract compliance rather than to promote social and labour rights. Trade unions pointed out that public procurement by its nature had to fulfil certain social goals so the social clauses may not be seen as inhibiting contractual freedom or economic freedoms.
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Justiciabilidad de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales discusión teórica : Justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights a theoretical discussion

Justiciabilidad de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales discusión teórica : Justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights a theoretical discussion

erradicar la pobreza solo porque desaprueba la teoría política o económica que subyace a él. Una corte debe estar obligada a respetar todas las opciones del gobierno, sea que estén inspiradas en el marxismo o en el monetarismo, sean social demócratas o liberales. Pero una corte sí tendrá titularidad para requerir del gobierno que explique cómo ha pensado erradicar la pobreza. Solo eso ya serviría para mejorar la calidad del gobierno porque todo funcionario que adopte decisio- nes que esté consciente del riesgo de ser llamado a justificarlas, siempre va a considerar el asunto más de cerca que si ese riesgo no existiera. Y si ante la corte el gobierno no es capaz de ofrecer una justificación plausible del programa que ha diseñado; si no es capaz de mostrar un esfuerzo sincero y racional para erradicar la pobreza, entonces el programa del gobierno deberá ser invalidado. La corte, en- tonces, estará revisando las decisiones políticas, no adoptándolas” 66 .
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Protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the colombian legal system - the role of judges /

Protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the colombian legal system - the role of judges /

De ahí entonces que el desmantelamiento de las políticas públicas con la finalidad de promover el mercado bajo el desconocimiento de las bases constitucionales de los DESC perpetuará los círcu- los de pobreza de los grupos sociales excluidos y discriminados y promoverá el descontento político y la baja intensidad de la participación política de las personas, toda vez que no ven en ella una sa- lida adecuada para la exigencia de cambio social. Resulta claro que la instancia inicial y originaria de promoción y protección de los DESC será las estructuras políticas y de decisión popular, siendo las administraciones ejecutivas que tiene a su car- go la implementación y distribución de los ingre- sos para asistencia social y políticas públicas, por lo tanto la verificación y seguimiento prioritario de cumplimiento de obligaciones internacionales en la materia será desde las acciones por ellos ejecu- tados.
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European Economic and Social Committee of EU (2013). Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘For coordinated European measures to prevent and combat energy poverty’

European Economic and Social Committee of EU (2013). Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘For coordinated European measures to prevent and combat energy poverty’

2.2 Such a European commitment would make it possible to pursue a joint and coordinated approach at European level to reduce the energy divide and would be based on the recognition of a universal right of access to energy (so that everyone can enjoy decent living conditions) which the EESC would like to see included in the Treaty of Lisbon; the EESC aims for all European policies, and particularly the energy policy, to include combating energy poverty and encouraging solidarity in this context in their goals. The EESC points out that, as an essential common commodity, energy must be managed as such with the resulting public service obligations. Moreover, the supply of energy by undertakings comes under services of general economic interest whose role in terms of European territorial and social cohesion is recognised by the Lisbon Treaty (Article 14 TFEU/Protocol 26). The European Charter of Fundamental Rights recognises the right to social and housing assistance to ensure a decent existence (Article 34), the obligation to ensure a high level of consumer protection (Article 38) and the fundamental right of access to public services (Article 36).
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Rosa Congost, Jorge Gelman, Rui Santos (Edits.) Property Rights in Land: Issues in Social, Economic and Global History. Número 48 de Perspectives in economic and social history. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

Rosa Congost, Jorge Gelman, Rui Santos (Edits.) Property Rights in Land: Issues in Social, Economic and Global History. Número 48 de Perspectives in economic and social history. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

El volumen se inicia con el trabajo de José Vicente Serrao y Eugenia Rodríguez, que pone en guardia acerca de los logros concretos y diferencias que puede haber entre la voluntad de un gobierno para imponer nuevos derechos de propiedad sobre los grupos sociales –de una potencia colonialista sobre sociedades coloniales– y la forma en que estos últimos se apropian de los mismos. Se trata de observar, desde una perspectiva de historia global, la transferencia y adaptación de un modelo lusitano de derechos de propiedad enfitéutica a regiones colonizadas en el Estado de la India portugués –formado por regiones del subcontinente indio y la isla de Ceilán, además de las colonias del este de África en Mozambique– desde el siglo XVI hasta el siglo XIX. En tanto los dominios indios incluían territorios con tradiciones agrícolas y comerciales antiguas y regulaciones bien establecidas con respecto al uso y la apropiación de recursos, la región de Zambezi en Mozambique, poblada de sociedades seminómadas con agricultura de subsistencia, tenían menor control sobre la tierra. El caso presenta diversidad en cuanto al lapso y ausencia de homogeneidad social y política, dentro de la cual los autores describen la adaptación y evolución del modelo institucional, al que denominan "enfiteusis indo- portuguesa", y sus resultados variables.
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Economic and Social Effects of Infrastructure‐driven Development in Africa

Economic and Social Effects of Infrastructure‐driven Development in Africa

WHO (2008) overviewed all terminology associated with the circumcision act. When the practice was  first observed by  outsiders, the  term ‘Female  Circumcision (FC)’ was used.  However, because male  circumcision  is  an  altogether  distinct  practice,  there  was  concern  that  the  term  would  cause  confusion  about  the  severity  and  acceptability  of  the  procedure.  The  term  ‘Female  Genital  Mutilation  (FGM)’  made  its  introduction  in  the  late  1990s  and  was  deemed  to  have  three  main  advantages over  the  previous  name. Firstly, it allows to  clearly distinguish  from male  circumcision.  Secondly,  the  ‘mutilation’  part  stresses  the  invasiveness  and  severity  of  the  procedure.  Thirdly,  it  refers to the practice’s violation of  human rights  and  tries to generate  dynamic action  against the  practice. Nonetheless, multiple African experts rejected the addition of ‘mutilation’ to the term as it  implied deliberate harm. They suggested the term Female Genital Cutting (FGC), as more neutral. As  a  compromise,  some  agencies  (among  which  UNICEF)  began  using  a  composite  of  FGM  and  FGC:  ‘Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)’. In this thesis, the term Female Genital Cutting (FGC),  as used by the DHS, will be utilized. 
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Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective

Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective

Human rights activism and advocacy focus on the violations and deprivations suffered by in- dividuals and social groups, without necessarily understanding the economic policies that help generate such problems. Strategies for the realiza- tion of equitable enjoyment of economic and social rights often fail to grapple with the potential constraints, posed by the current structures of the global economy, on the achievement of those rights. Without an understanding of the ways that neo-liberal economic polices, at national and international levels, contribute to the viola- tion of human rights, human rights activism may be reduced to uphill battles to defend mini- mal protections. Without an understanding of the alternatives to neo-liberal economic policies, human rights advocates may be left without adequate strategies to change the environment that leads to human rights violations. A better understanding of economic policies and processes is particularly relevant to struggles to achieve equal economic and social rights for all. Such an analysis can help identify and clarify the sites of negotiation and struggle needed to bring about improvements in economic and social rights, especially for those who are most deprived. This analysis is the stock in trade of heterodox economists.
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The negotiability of labor rights: an economic analysis

The negotiability of labor rights: an economic analysis

Por lo tanto, si se parte de la idea de que el mercado es un mecanismo que puede ser HÀFLHQWHHQODDVLJQDFLyQRGLVWULEXFLyQGHORVUHFXUVRVTXHORVGHUHFKRVGHSURSLHGDG \GHFRQWUDWRVVRQODVEDVHVSDUDHOIXQFLRQDPLHQWRGHpO\TXHXWLOL]DUHOPHUFDGRFXHV- ta para las partes, puede concluirse que dichos derechos de propiedad y de contratos deben gozar de ciertas características con el propósito de hacer menos costoso para los DJHQWHVHOPHFDQLVPRGHPHUFDGR(VWDWHVLVIXHSODQWHDGDSRU5RQDOG+&RDVHHQVX obra El problema del costo social, como respuesta a la solución regulatoria tradicional LQWHUpVS~EOLFRSODQWHDGDSRU$&3LJRXHQVXVHVWXGLRVVREUHODFRQWDPLQDFLyQDP- biental y las externalidades negativas.
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Movimientos obreros y por los derechos humanos en América Latina: convergencia, divergencia y consecuencias para la promoción de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales [Labor Movements and Human Rights in Latin America: Convergence, Divergence, an

Movimientos obreros y por los derechos humanos en América Latina: convergencia, divergencia y consecuencias para la promoción de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales [Labor Movements and Human Rights in Latin America: Convergence, Divergence, and the Implications for the Promotion of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights]

10 Ver Ruth Berins Collier y James Mahoney, “Adding Collective Actors to Collective Outcomes: Labor and Recent Democratization in South America and Southern Europe”, en Comparative Politics, vol. 29, núm. 3, abril de 1997, pp. 285-303; Margaret E. Keck, “The New Unionism in the Brazilian Transition”, en Alfred Stepan (editor), Democratizing Brazil, Nueva York, Oxford University Press, 1989; Evelyne Huber Stephens, “The Peruvian Military Government, Labor Mobilization, and the Political Strength o f the Left”, en Latin American Research Review, vol. 18, núm. 2, 1983, pp. 57-93; Manuel Barrera y J. Samuel Valenzuela, “The Development o f Labor Movement Opposition to the Military Regime”, en J. Samuel Valenzuela y Arturo Valenzuela (editores), Military Rule in Chile: Dictatorship and Oppositions, Baltimore y Londres, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986; Gerardo L. Munck, Authoritarianism and Democratization: Soldiers and Workers in Argentina, 1976-1983, Penn, University Park, Penn State Press, 1998.
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REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL RIGHTS

REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL RIGHTS

Section II offers an overview of the United Nations conferences of the 1990s in order to assess how and where the women’s coalition succeeded in infusing its perspectives on reproductive and sexual rights into the conference documents, and where and why it failed. Focusing mainly on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, the analysis contrasts feminist perspectives and strategies with those of two other major “stakeholders” who have attempted to shape the dominant international discourses and policies around reproductive and sexual health: fundamentalist groups, especially the Vatican, and mainstream population and family planning organizations. The success of these two groups in also influencing the conference documents at strategic points, as well as the weak political process of the United Nations itself, render those documents fragile and contradictory despite their groundbreaking advances. Section III begins with an overview of globalization, macroeconomic policies affecting social services and recent trends in health sector reform. Within the context of diminished state responsibilities and what I call “the many faces of privatization,” the paper looks at the efforts of women’s NGOs to hold their governments accountable for international commitments, implement the provisions of the ICPD Programme of Action, and transform reproductive and sexual health/rights into concrete policy. In most cases, economic constraints, gaps in resources and cuts in services—sometimes compounded by the resurgence of fundamentalist movements—form the backdrop to women’s activism. In some contexts, however, women’s NGOs are making important changes in national policy despite the disabling environment, and occasionally (for example in Brazil) are creating new and promising models of civil society- government co-operation.
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Managing the Commons Indigenous Rights Economic Development and Identity

Managing the Commons Indigenous Rights Economic Development and Identity

plots, or accept protected areas on traditional lands. Moreover, by failing the goal of collec- tive land rights recognition, the accumulated experiences of mobilization, advocacy and participatory mapping can end up serving particular and competing interests between and among communities, thus creating ten- sions and further divisions. By providing an extremely interesting and well supported point, Caddy’s article stimulates common property researchers, theorists and practi- tioners to carry out further thinking and comparative research. At the same time, by observing that “common property theorists have embraced the important contribution that can be made by traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous management re- gimes, this acceptance has not been univer- sally paralleled in other social and political systems. (…) many states (especially in de- veloping countries) nevertheless continue to believe that individual ownership is the only progressive option. Communal ownership systems are regarded as antiquated means of land use and tenure, thus retarding ef- fective development”, it also provokes com- mon property specialists to question: why do the results of common property theory and practice have such a hard time in penetrat- ing more deeply into academic curricula and political agendas? Would it not be time to engage more actively in politically oriented
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Torture, Democracy and Human Rights

Torture, Democracy and Human Rights

Not  much  is  said  when  someone  who  has  never  been  beaten  makes  the  ethical  and  pathetic  statement  that  upon   the  first  blow  the  prisoner  loses  his  human  dignity.  I  must  confess  that  I  don't  know  exactly  what  that  is:  human   dignity.  One  person  thinks  he  loses  it  when  he  finds  himself  in  circumstances  that  make  it  impossible  for  him  to   take   a   daily   bath.   Another   believes   he   loses   it   when   he   must   speak   to   an   official   in   something   other   than   his   native  language.  In  one  instance  human  dignity  is  bound  to  a  certain  physical  convenience,  in  the  other  to  the   right  of  free  speech,  in  still  another  perhaps  to  the  availability  of  erotic  partners  of  the  same  sex.  I  don't  know  if   the  person  who  is  beaten  by  the  police  loses  human  dignity.  Yet  I  am  certain  that  with  the  very  first  blow  that   descends   on   him   he   loses   something   we   will   perhaps   temporarily   call   “trust   in   the   world.”   Trust   in   the   world   includes  all  sorts  of  things:  the  irrational  and  logically  unjustifiable  belief  in  absolute  causality  perhaps,  or  the   likewise  blind  belief  in  the  validity  of  the  inductive  inference.  But  more  important  as  an  element  of  trust  in  the   world,  and  in  our  context  what  is  solely  relevant,  is  the  certainty  that  by  reason  of  written  or  unwritten  social   contracts  the  other  person  will  spare  me-­‐more  precisely  stated,  that  he  will  respect  my  physical,  and  with  it  also   my  metaphysical,  being.  The  boundaries  of  my  body  are  also  the  boundaries  of  my  self.  My  skin  surface  shields   me  against  the  external  world.  If    I  am  to  have  trust,  I  must  feel  on  it  only  what  I  want    to  feel.  
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GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

expectancy and reduced infant mortality, have spread to nearly all parts of the world, though huge and tragic discrepancies remain in even these areas. In material well being, however, as measured by gross domestic product per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), the yawning gaps are stunning and show few signs of amelioration. According to the valuable data assembled by Angus Maddison for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (1995), Western Europe outpaced Africa in average per capita GDP by a factor of around 2.9 in 1820, and by a factor of 13.2 by 1992. More stunningly, Madison puts the African per capita income in 1992 at $1,284 dollars (measured in 1990 PPP adjusted dollars), which is essentially identical to Maddison’s estimate of the average GDP per capita in Western Europe in 1820, $1,292. One area of the developing world, Asia, showed significant progress during the past thirty years, with average incomes rising from around $1,212 in 1965 to $3,239 in 1992 on the Maddison data. 1 In Africa, however, the levels of income in the 1990s were about the same as in 1970. (Maddison puts Africa’s average income at $1,289 in 1971 and $1,284 in 1992). In Latin America and the Caribbean, average income levels in 1992 ($4,820) were only 6.6 percent higher than in 1974 ($4,521).
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Political Regimes and Economic Growth

Political Regimes and Economic Growth

In the Freedom House Political Rights Index a country receives the highest score if political rights come closest to some ideals, namely, whether there are free and fair elections, whether those who are elected rule, whether there are competitive parties or other political groupings, whether the opposition plays an important role and has actual power, and also whether minority groups have reasonable self government or can participate in the government through informal consensus. The other democracy index adopted is the Polity IV dataset which provides in- formation for all countries since independence started in 1800, more precisely the composite Polity Index is used, described as the difference between Polity’s Democracy and Autocracy indices. The Polity Democracy Index ranges from 0 to 10 and is derived from coding the competitiveness of political participation, the openness and competitiveness of executive recruitment and constraints on the chief executive. The Polity Autocracy Index also ranges from 0 to 10 and is cons- tructed in a similar way to the democracy score based on scoring countries accor- ding to competitiveness of political participation, the regulation of participation, the openness and competitiveness of executive recruitment and constraints on the chief executive. We follow Barro (1999) and Acemoglu et al. (2008) and con- vert each index into a continuous variable ranging between 0 (least democratic regime) and 1 (most democratic regime). Both policy measures are retrieved from Acemoglu et al. (2008). All variables are summarized in table 1, which we describe next.
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RUFFINI, Giovanni R  (Oxford, 2012)  Medieval Nubia  A Social and Economic History

RUFFINI, Giovanni R (Oxford, 2012) Medieval Nubia A Social and Economic History

The last two points are, in my opinion, the most important contributions of Ruffini’s work. His sound knowledge of Late Antique Egypt, combined with his penetrating view of the historical phenomena he turns his attention to, also allowed him to grasp the significance of diachronic patterns of interdependence between the neighboring states along and around the Nile Valley. Thus, he gives, for example, just merit to the role of the Fatimids in the developments in Nubia during the two centuries of their rule over Egypt, i.e. 969-1169 CE (pp. 263-264). This dynamic dialogue between cultures through space and time, he exemplified best by clarifying the role of food consumption recorded so often in the Old Nubian land sales (pp. 90-102). The food consumed by the witnesses of these sales is recorded as a gift offered by the persons involved in the land sale. This is a long-standing tradition that can be found in various places and cultures, including a number of African comparanda (pp. 111-114). In Medieval Nubia, however, the recording of this gift in food «is merely grafted onto Greco-Roman legal forms that the Nubians have adopted» (p. 108). The purpose of this «adoption» was to transform a local tradition into a documented legal act in imitation of the Roman practices. Ruffini is, to my best knowledge, the first who set the Old Nubian documents of land sales against the background of such ceremonies and under the light of the Roman notarial traditions. The documentation of a land sale on the one hand is a Roman practice that has been adopted by the Nubians in order to provide legality and legitimacy to an act that although seems to belong in the private (or local) domain, it has implications for the state and affects the state’s interest in land property issues within its territory. Consequently, the Lower Nubian documents, along
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Health policies and economic blocks

Health policies and economic blocks

The development of international networks of health insurance, or of institutions that may be hired to render health services following international standards, is a pre-condition to developing private health services’ markets. There is increasing concern among health insurance companies in central countries. The concern is directed at finding market niches for their financial and health insurance products in developing countries. Simultaneously, the diversification of such products in these markets leads to the idea of health insurances as an international protection. Thus, it leads to standardizing and guaranteeing quality of health services supply standards in developing countries. Guaranteeing health services quality involves three kinds of activities: 1) Establishing minimum operation requirements for facilities and entities which are typically government-ruled; 2) Guaranteeing quality supply according to parameters developed or accepted by an international private suppliers’ network; and, 3) guaranteeing quality of staff rendering services (mainly physicians and nurses). For the last two cases there is concrete evidence of self-regulation on the part of the participating spheres rather than of public regulation. However, when dealing with foment to international markets expansion, the State may be compelled to assume or foster, in the developing country, at least transitorily, processes that in developed countries are called self-regulation.
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Protección de los derechos de los consumidores y la responsabilidad social / Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Responsibility

Protección de los derechos de los consumidores y la responsabilidad social / Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Responsibility

El gobierno y la administración pública tienen la responsabilidad de controlar y regular, con el objetivo de lograr una política enérgica de protección de los derechos de consumidores y usuarios, en correspondencia a los acuerdos internacionales sobre la materia. Consumidor vs usuario es una categoría propia de cualquier sistema social. Toda persona es un consumidor o usuario potencial al ser sujeto de una relación de consumo. La existencia del ser humano está condicionada a la adquisición, utilización y disfrute de bienes y servicios para desarrollar su proyecto de vida, acciones que deben estar protegidas por el Estado para garantizarle una vida digna y decorosa.
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HUMAN RIGHTS AND CAPABILITIES

HUMAN RIGHTS AND CAPABILITIES

I have discussed these diagnoses elsewhere (for example Sen, 1999). Contrary to cultural stereotypes, the histories of different countries in the world have shown considerable variations over time as well as between different groups within the same country. When, in the twelfth century, the Jewish philosopher Maimonedes had to flee an intolerant Europe and its Inquisitions to try to safeguard his human right to stick to his own religious beliefs and practice, he sought shelter in Emperor Saladin’s Egypt (via Fez and Palestine), and found an honoured position in the court of this Muslim emperor. Several hundred years later, when, in Agra, the Moghal emperor of India, Akbar, was arguing — and legislating — on the government’s duty to uphold the right to religious freedom of all citizens, the European Inquisitions were still going on, and Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in Rome, in 1600.
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Social crisis: reflection on the economic, social and educational alternatives from a gender perspective

Social crisis: reflection on the economic, social and educational alternatives from a gender perspective

Del mismo modo en que los cuidados deben de ser la base de las sociedades, pero éstos deben estar asentados en la igualdad entre los diversos miembros de la comunidad. Donde los parámetros en los que se basan los valores sociales, sean los afectos redistributivos, sin discriminación de género, clase social o raza. Para ello, la educación tiene no solo un papel fundamental, sino más bien exclusivo, ya que se trata de un proceso de concienciación en la toma de responsabilidad, en lo relacionado con los cuidados hacia otros miembros de la comunidad. El cambio de modelo no será posible, sin la implicación y adquisición de nuevos roles más equitativos en el ámbito de los cuidados en particular y lo social en general.
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