‌The UCD Centre for Human Rights is delighted to issue a call for papers for it's conference HUMAN RIGHTS, POVERTY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

This one-day conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplinary fields to address the role that human rights have in tackling the global challenges of poverty and material deprivation. It will consider the moral basis and content of human rights against poverty, what obligations these rights entail and how they can be institutionally implemented and enforced. The conference will also consider the possible limitations of human rights as a means of responding to economic inequality, and will engage with critical debate on whether human rights are, in fact, the best instrument for confronting economic inequality, or whether alternative programmes of social justice are needed.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to: and

Please also include a separate document with the paper’s title, your name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. The subject line of the email should read “Abstract submission: Human rights, poverty and social justice”.

Each speaker will have twenty minutes of presentation time followed by ten minutes of Q&A. There are no pre-circulated papers.

Abstract Submission Deadline: Monday, 17 September, 2018


Conference details:

University College Dublin, Sutherland School of Law 21st Irish European Law Forum UCD Centre for Human Rights in association with University of Glasgow School of Law

Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin

Saturday, 3rd November, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Professor Philip Alston, the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law (NYU) & United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The conference will address the following questions:

  • What is the moral basis of human rights to food, water and housing and what obligations do they entail?
  • Who is responsible for the transgression of these rights? Is it national governments, corporations, international institutions (such as the WTO), or do all of us bear responsibility?
  • How should human rights against poverty be practically enforced and what can be learned from comparisons between countries?
  • How effective are the existing institutions and instruments of the international human rights system in securing these rights?
  • Should rights against poverty be enshrined in domestic constitutions?
  • What role have social movements played in the definition and achievement of human rights against poverty?
  • How do human rights against poverty interact with other international human rights, such as rights to education and political participation?
  • How should the intersections between specific vulnerabilities (e.g. women, children) and poverty be addressed?
  • Are human rights the best instrument for addressing global poverty and hunger? Might there be any limitations to the ability of human rights to tackle the structural causes of economic inequality, for example?
  • What alternative or supplementary discourses of social justice can address the challenges of global poverty?

Other Confirmed Speakers so far include: Professor Charles Gore (Glasgow, UNCTAD Special Coordinator for Research and Policy Analysis and Honorary Professor in Economics, University of Glasgow Business School) Dr. Julia McClure (Glasgow, School of Humanities, History) Professor Wouter Vandenhole (Antwerp, UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights, Faculty of Law)

Organisers: Dr. Guy Aitchison (UCD, School of Politics & International Relations, SPIRe) Dr. Anna Chadwick (Glasgow, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow, Law) Dr. Suzanne Egan (UCD, Director, Centre for Human Rights).

Online registration details to follow.