Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993, has investigated human rights abuses around the globe, with special expertise on issues of justice and accountability for atrocities committed[…]
Beyond what is in the U.S. Constitution, economic and social rights.
When I think of justice, I think of something that’s not all that much different from respect for individual rights. Now in this respect though, I speak not simply about the civil and political rights that for, I think, many Americans are conjured up by the concept of rights. It’s not simply the rights that are in the U.S. Constitution that is to say, but also some basic economic justice. Some basic respect for what are known as . . . as economic and social rights in the international realm. But that is to say at the minimum, the provision of the necessities of life – the housing, the food, the medical care and like – that allow people to exist and live with some basic dignity. So I do think that with that holistic concept of rights, that there’s not all that much difference between justice and respect for rights. But I do think to . . . to equate the two, you have to move beyond the more procedurally oriented rights of, say, the U.S. Constitution – the civil and political rights – and look at some of the more substantive rights of . . . of what are known as economics and social rights.
Recorded on: 8/14/07