Unit 6: Participation, Rights, Needs, and Global Justice: Revisiting Civil, Political and Economic, Social, Cultural Rights Debate
As individuals, groups, and communities engage in political agency, conflicting claims for justice inevitably emerge. The discourse about rights and needs is central to resolving these conflicts.
We can understand participatory rights as a vehicle for empowerment and conflict resolution. However, how do participatory rights manifest themselves in a global setting, such as the so-called Arab Spring or Wikileaks? Do institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) bring new meaning to claims for justice in global affairs?
The International Criminal Court and other global institutions, such as the European and Inter-American Courts on Human Rights, raise questions about individual civil rights and the pursuit of justice for victims of human rights violations, in a global setting. The rights-needs debate underscores the significance of socio-economic class and contemporary slavery. This unit ultimately centers on how global justice applies to civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and needs. Simply stated, does the recognition of needs supersede claims for rights even when the cost is justice?
Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.
6.1: What Does "Think Globally, Act Locally" Mean for Global Justice?
The adage "think globally, act locally" urges people to consider global issues while acting within their communities to affect change. This section considers some on-the-ground challenges of addressing human rights under widely-differing local circumstances and how local actors work on behalf of human rights in their own countries and contexts.
6.2: Socioeconomic Class
Thus far, we have dealt with human rights issues associated with socioeconomic inequality. These sources dig deeper into how poverty, inequality, and development are issues of global justice.
6.3: Contemporary Slavery and Consumerism
While poverty remains a major issue, much of the world's population also has disposable income that generates demand for more consumer goods. As suppliers push to meet that demand, they often fall back on age-old production methods, including slavery and forced labor. These remain a significant obstacle for those of us interested in promoting global justice.
Unit 6 Current Events Exercise