Faculty of Law
Antwerpen :UA, 2006
IOB discussion paper : UA, Institute of Development Policy and Management ; 2006:02
University of Antwerp
International human rights lawyers tend to focus on establishing the universality of human rights rather than on improving the usefulness of human rights in addressing local problems. This paper draws attention to the need to make human rights more locally relevant, particularly in a context of economic globalisation. Human rights can be made more locally relevant by interpreting existing global norms in the light of needs identified by community organisations, and by developing human rights further, particularly at the local and regional levels in the light of these same needs. If made more locally relevant, human rights can offer protection against adverse effects of economic globalisation at the local level. There are also consequences for the activities of international institutions: the field work of the UN High Commissioner for human rights, and current developments in the opening up of state-investor arbitration to the consideration of human rights impact are taken as examples.