Economic Rights in Canada and the United States
Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
288 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9780812220933
- Published: November 2009
Readers in Western developed countries are most familiar with abuses of political and civil rights, but the international human rights regime also embraces a set of laws regarding economic rights. These rights include the right to work and to just and favorable working conditions; the right to join and form trade unions; the right to social security; specific rights for the family; the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, and "the continuous improvement of living conditions"; and the right to "the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."
In original essays by scholars senior and junior, this volume explains how these rights are realized—or violated—in Canada and the United States. Contributors analyze the philosophy, law, and politics of economic rights and discuss specific issues such as poverty, health care, and the rights of people with disabilities. Central to the problems of both countries are the human rights abuses evident in all contemporary capitalist societies. When the inequalities among citizens are not cushioned by a national commitment to economic rights, or when governments fail to maintain social safety nets for all citizens, economic rights are at risk.
Contributors consider the problem from the perspective of their own countries: Canada, the United States, and, for contrast, the Netherlands. They do so in order to explore whether their own countries fall short of meeting international standards of economic rights. They also address the criticism often made by non-Western scholars of human rights—that their Western colleagues preach human rights abroad without regard to the human rights flaws at home.
Introduction: Looking at Ourselves
—Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann and Claude E. Welch, Jr.
PART I. PHILOSOPHY, LAW, AND POLITICS OF ECONOMIC RIGHTS
Justifying Socioeconomic Rights
2. International Law of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A U.S. Perspective
3. On the Margins of the Human Rights Discourse: Foreign Policy and International Welfare Rights
—David P. Forsythe and Eric A. Heinze
PART II. POVERTY
4. Homelessness in Canada and the United States
—Barbara Wake Carroll
5. Welfare Racism and Human Rights
—Kenneth J. Neubeck
6. The Movement to End Poverty in the United States
—Mary Bricker-Jenkins and Willie Baptist
PART III. CONTENTIOUS AND EMERGING ISSUES
7. So Close and Yet so Different: The Right to Health Care in the United States and Canada
—Virginia A. Leary
8. International Labor Rights and North American Labor Law
—James B. Atleson
9. Deconstructing Barriers: The Promise of Socioeconomic Rights for People with Disabilities in Canada
—Sarah Armstrong, Mindy Noble, and Pauline Rosenbaum
10. The Economic Rights of Migrants and Immigrant Workers in Canada and the United States
PART IV. A EUROPEAN COMPARISON
11. The Netherlands: A Walhalla of Economic and Social Rights?
—Peter R. Baehr
Appendix 1. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Appendix 2. Excerpts from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's State of the Union Address, January 6, 1941
Appendix 3. Excerpts from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's State of the Union Address, January 11, 1944