Mich: A human right to work?

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

mars 13, 2018

12h45 - 13h55


Place Montesquieu 3 D305

Jesse Tomalty (Bergen)

The right to work is articulated in international human rights doctrine, notably in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. But what is the content of this right? And is its inclusion among international human rights justified? The human right to work is typically interpreted as a positive right to guaranteed employment. In this paper, I offer a novel objection to the human right to work interpreted in this way. This objection also turns out to have important implications for the viability of a human right to work construed as entailing only negative duties, for example the duty not to prevent people from working. Ultimately I argue that if a human right to work can be justified at all, it must be interpreted as a right against arbitrary exclusion from the labour market.

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