What has the global financial and economic ‘crisis’ meant for economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs)?

Since its occurrence in 2007/08 many States and international organisations have peddled the idea that the global economic and financial crisis is all-encompassing in its effect and have promoted the idea that its repercussions should be felt by everyone despite its origin lying with relatively few people. States, aided by the media, have created a rhetoric of ‘crisis’ which has become almost unquestioningly accepted. These rights are enshrined in the legal binding International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) but the ‘crisis’ has affected many people’s ability to access these basic rights. In addition, States have used the ‘crisis’ rhetoric to absolve themselves of their legal duty to ensure the realisation of these rights. ESCRs can still be fulfilled and it is the responsibility of States to ensure they are.

The video’s aim is to raise awareness of these rights and how they have been affected since the economic and financial crisis in 2008.

The film includes quotes from ICESCR (1966) and a quote from the Human Right’s Council (2009). The statistics are from published documents by the ILO (2009); World Bank (2008); UNESCO (2009); IOM (2009). They are referenced in the film. I am not liable for their accuracy.

The visual style of the film is inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ video from 1965. All images and sound are my own.

Laurie Vose

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