Thomas Pogge

The Progressive Potential of Human Rights

We might begin reflection on the progressive potential of human rights by looking at the role that human rights are supposed to play within the present international order. Here two main functions stand out. First, human rights are meant to constrain and inform the conduct of political authorities: of governments and their various domestic and international agencies and organizations. Governments must respect the human right of those living under their authority and of others they may interact with. Governments must protect the human rights of members of their state against internal and external threats from crime, war, civil war and terrorism, from natural catastrophes including epidemics ...

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