Human rights are a construct of international law. Their legitimacy depends on them being informed by the deep-seated fact of global cultural pluralism and the concern of establishing a system that recognizes this pluralism, transcends a narrow parochial perspective and thus avoids the accusation of cultural or moral colonialism. There are two broad strategies to do this: by invoking an individualist-moral conception of HR designed to promote well-being and by invoking a social-political conception of HR aimed at preserving world peace and stability. Economic rights are rights to commodify-to sell one’s labor, to buy goods and services and so on-under fair terms. That is to say, to take part in economic activities such as production and consumption within a distinctive social form by which they are mediated through exchange. I argue that endorsing rights of commodification is incompatible with a genuine concern with parochialism. Economic rights are neither necessary to protect some natural interest shared by all humans, nor the stability of a peaceful world order. Hence, economic rights should not be considered human rights.
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