COVID-19, the Economy and Human Rights: Inequality Is not a Virus, but a Political Choice
SUR 30, v.17, n.30, 85 - 98, 2020
14 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2021 Last revised: 27 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 1, 2020
This article presents a series of reflections on the links between the economy and human rights in times of Covid-19. It argues that the economy and human rights are not incompatible and criticises “the economy first” approach that some governments are promoting, as it leads to the worst of both worlds: a fall in GDP and a rise in deaths. It also warns about the risk of implementing austerity policies, as done in the recent past, and how these policies and confinement increase the burden on women. It presents fiscal policies that could be implemented to finance social justice, while putting people’s needs and rights before capital growth and the interests of large corporations. It also discusses the regulatory conflict between individual property rights and human rights in a range of cases, including investment arbitration. Finally, it offers a series of proposals on economic, fiscal, financial, monetary, social and environmental policies that combine to form a truly transformative agenda.
Keywords: COVID-19, Human rights, Economy, Fiscal policy, Debt
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