Measuring the Progressive Realization of Economic and Social Human Rights in Brazil: A Disaggregated Economic and Social Rights Fulﬁllment Index
The Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut Economic Rights Working Paper Series, Working Paper 10
32 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013
Date Written: August 1, 2009
This paper summarizes ﬁndings and conclusions from our application of the Economic and Social Rights Fulﬁllment Index developed by Fukuda-Parr, LawsonRemer and Randolph (2009) to the states of Brazil. The key features of this methodology in assessing economic and human rights fulﬁllment is the focus on state obligations rather than only on human outcomes, and reference to both level of state resources and the historic achievements of comparator state parties as criteria in assessment. Our results show that none of the states of Brazil are completely meeting their obligations to fulﬁll economic and social rights although some are far more successful than others, and that fulﬁllment does not depend on income. States struggle most to meet their obligations to realize the right to decent work and adequate housing, but are somewhat better and meeting their obligations to fulﬁll the rights to education, the highest attainable standard of health and adequate food. Furthermore, a ranking of the states based on our ﬁndings differs signiﬁcantly from rankings based on GDP per capita or the state-level Human Development Index values alone. This paper summarizes our methodology and ﬁndings and also proposes several avenues for further study.
Keywords: human rights, Economic and Social Rights, Brazil, measurement, indicators, progressive realization, inequality, poverty, human development
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