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During this luncheon Corina Heri (ACIL) will explore recent developments in the international legal recognition of new human rights claims sought by various groups. She will use peasant human rights as a case study.

Event details of Justifying New Rights: Affectedness, Vulnerability, and the Rights of Peasants
Date 7 October 2019
Time 12:00 -13:00
Organised by Corina Heri


Over the last decades, various groups seeking international legal recognition of new human rights claims have succeeded in their endeavors. Some movements have crafted such convincing demands that they have not only achieved codification of their rights, but that their participation has become a condition of the legitimacy of the resulting international legal documents. But what are the bases of claims for new human rights, and how do they help to confront the argument that human rights’ expansion also entails their dilution? This article explores narratives based on two different concepts, namely the political-science concept of affectedness and the legal-ethical concept of vulnerability. It does so by drawing on the process for the recognition of peasant human rights at the United Nations. The article explores what it understands as the peasant critique of existing human rights by looking at the differences and interrelations between affectedness and vulnerability-based argumentation. It argues that an approach premised purely on affectedness and thus focused on participation is less empowering than one that includes regard for vulnerability, which serves as a heuristic device for identifying and challenging inequalities, demands substantive outcomes, and can serve to craft a convincing theoretical account of (peasant) human rights protections.