There are no doubt human rights advocates who would baulk at the claim that somehow human rights serves to advance the cause of neoliberalism. An important tool for protecting human dignity, advancing equality and supporting demands for justice cannot surely be complicit in the evident harms of neoliberal economic policies? Such harms are increasingly recognized by human rights practitioners, including non-governmental organizations and United Nations experts. To take a recent example, Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, described on a country visit to Spain in February 2020, how the country’s self-image as “a close family-based society rooted in deeply shared values and social solidarity has been badly fractured by an economic crisis and the implementation of neoliberal policies.” Numerous other examples can be found presently of human rights advocates emphasizing the negative impact of neoliberal policies on a range of human rights. How then can it be that human rights can be seen as part of the problem?
"The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 10, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol10/iss1/12