This submission emphasizes the centrality of economic and social rights to human rights and highlights how advocating for a hierarchy of rights that downplays their equal status is contrary to widely-recognized international norms, ignores the lived experience of individuals, and will serve to further entrench inequality. The submission urges the Commission to recognize and reaffirm the full panoply of human rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and subsequent human rights agreements. The discussion highlights the negative implications of a narrowed conceptualization of human rights, emphasizing that a circumscribed vision of human rights will perpetuate a system where true freedom is enjoyed only by a privileged few – those who can afford it.
Catherine Coleman Flowers & JoAnn Kamuf Ward,
Submission to the US State Department Commission on the Unalienable Rights,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/human_rights_institute/8