Human Rights and Capitalism

Human Rights and Capitalism

A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Globalisation

Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series

Edited by Janet Dine and Andrew Fagan

Human Rights and Capitalism brings together two important facets of the globalisation debate and examines the complex relationship between human rights, property rights and capitalist economies.

Chapter 8: Jekyll and Hyde and Equation 5: Enforcing the Right to Development through Economic Law

Rohan Kariyawasam

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights


Rohan Kariyawasam1 We are writing a bill of rights for the world … one of the most important rights is the opportunity for development (Eleanor Roosevelt) 1. INTRODUCTION The Declaration on the Right to Development (the ‘Declaration’), which states that the right to development is a human right,2 was adopted by the UN General Assembly, resolution 4/128 on the 4 December 1986. Despite being in force for just under 20 years, the Declaration, not being a legally binding instrument, has suffered from a lack of implementation and the political will required for international cooperation. The Declaration’s evolution can be traced back to the transposition of civil and political rights (Articles 1 to 21 Universal Declaration of Human Rights)3 and economic, social, and cultural rights (Articles 22 to 28 Universal Declaration of Human Rights) into two separate legally binding treaties (i) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);4 and (ii) International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).5 As the Independent Expert on the Right to Development, Arjun Sengupta, argues, ‘it took many years of international deliberations and negotiations for the world community to get back to the original conception of integrated and indivisible human rights. The Declaration on the Right to Development was the result.’6 The Right to Development (‘RTD’) as a human right has been reaffirmed in the Vienna Declaration adopted at the Second UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, 1993.7 The aim of this chapter is not to discuss the...

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