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Untangling the Indivisibility, Interdependency, and Interrelatedness of Human Rights


  • Daniel J. Whelan

    (Hendrix College)


Human rights are said to be "indivisible, interdependent and interrelated." However widely used within UN parlance and among scholars and activists, these terms are rarely unpacked and often used interchangeably. This short paper attempts to untangle the meanings and values these terms represent and reflect, based on a careful reading of the history of especially the two "grand categories" of human rights--civil/political, and economic/social/cultural--as those rights are expressed in the two main human rights covenants.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel J. Whelan, 2008. "Untangling the Indivisibility, Interdependency, and Interrelatedness of Human Rights," Economic Rights Working Papers 7, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:ecriwp:7
    Note: Background Paper prepared for the University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute Workshop on "Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights", April 11, 2008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patrick Nolan Guyer & Sakiko Fukuda-Parr & Susan Randolph & Louise Moreira Daniels, 2009. "Measuring the Progressive Realization of Economic and Social Human Rights in Brazil: A Disaggregated Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index," Economic Rights Working Papers 10, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
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    More about this item


    human rights; United Nations; indivisibility; interdependence; interrelatedness;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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