The Link between Subsistence and Human Rights
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Original versionThom Brooks (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Global Justice. 2020 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198714354.013.9
This chapter constitutes an exploration and evaluation of the so-called “linkage argument” in support of the inclusion of a right to subsistence among human rights. While it is uncontroversial that avoiding poverty is hugely important for all humans, the human right to subsistence and other socioeconomic human rights are often regarded as social goals rather than genuine rights. The linkage argument aims to show that a commitment to the existence of any human rights at all entails a commitment to the inclusion of a right to subsistence among them. I argue that the linkage argument does not succeed in vindicating the inclusion of a right to subsistence among moral human rights, but I conclude that a modified version of it might support the justification of a legal human right to subsistence.