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Human Rights, Entrepreneurial Rights, and Legal Empowerment of the Poor

English title Human Rights, Entrepreneurial Rights, and Legal Empowerment of the Poor
Applicant Cheneval Francis
Number 150304
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Philosophisches Seminar Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 31.12.2017
Approved amount 613'521.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Philosophy
Legal sciences
Science of management

Keywords (6)

Business Rights; Human Rights Law; Access to Financial Services; Philosophy of Human Rights; Legal Empowerment of the Poor; Entrepreneurial Rights

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Dieses Projekt untersucht das innovative Konzept von unternehmerischen Rechten, die selbständig Erwerbenden Schutz gewähren und ökonomische Möglichkeiten eröffnen sollen. Ferner wird der Frage nachgegangen, welchedieser unternehmerischen Rechte allenfalls als Menschenrechte betrachtet werden sollten und welcher Bezug zu den kodifizierten Menschenrechten besteht.
Lay summary

Es handelt sich um ein interdisziplinäres Forschungsprojekt des Kompetenzzentrums für Menschenrechte und des Ethikzentrums der UZH bestehend aus den Disziplinen Philosophie, Recht und Ökonomie. Es ist der begrifflichen Analyse sowie moralphilosophischen, juridischen und ökonomischen Begründung von Rechten von selbständig Erwerbenden gewidmet. Von den rund 500 Millionen Menschen, die zurzeit unter der Armutsschwelle der Weltbank von 1.25 Dollar pro Tag leben sind die meisten nicht Angestellte sondern selbständig Erwerbende ohne Rechtsschutz. Ihre unternehmerische Tätigkeit ist weder registriert noch geschützt und sie sind auf informelle Finanzierungen angewiesen. Dadurch bleiben diesen Kleinstunternehmern wichtige ökonomische Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten verwehrt und sie haben keine Möglichkeit, sich gegen unlautere Machenschaften von übermächtigen Akteuren in Staat und Wirtschaft wirkungsvoll zur Wehr zu setzen. Eine auf Grund- und Menschenrechten basierte Stärkung dieser Unternehmerinnen und Unternehmer „ganz unten“ könnte deshalb im Zentrum einer Strategie ihrer Besserstellung stehen. Dies zu untersuchen ist das Vorhaben dieses Projekts. Unternehmerische Rechte und Freiheiten der Firmengründung, des Vertragsschlusses, Kapitalbeschaffung, etc. sind nicht neue Rechte, sie existieren in vielen Rechtssystemen. Die besonderen  zwei Fragen, denen in diesem Projekt nachgegangen wird, sind erstens welche dieser Rechte im Kontext globaler Armut elementare Aspekte menschlicher Tätigkeit schützen und deshalb als Menschenrechte geschützt werden sollen und zweitens ob und wie der Schutz dieser Rechte Menschen eine ökonomische Besserstellung bringen kann.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Entrepreneurial Rights are Basic Rights
Cheneval Francis (2019), Entrepreneurial Rights are Basic Rights, in Queralt Jahel, Van der Vossen Bas (ed.), Routledge, Abingdon, 114-132.
Property Rights of Personal Data and the Financing of Pensions
Cheneval Francis (2018), Property Rights of Personal Data and the Financing of Pensions, in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 1-23.
Financial Inclusion and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Missed Opportunity
Fu Jonathan, Queralt Jahel, Romano Michele (2017), Financial Inclusion and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Missed Opportunity, in Enterprise, Development and Microfinance, 28(3), 200-211.
A Human Right to Financial Inclusion
Queralt Jahel (2016), A Human Right to Financial Inclusion, in Gaisbauer Gotfried (ed.), Springer, Amsterdam, 77-92.
Are Economic Liberties Basic Rights?
Queralt Jahel, Are Economic Liberties Basic Rights?, in Schmidtz David, Van der Vossen Bas, Brennan Jason (ed.), Routledge, Abingdon.
Economic Liberties and Human Rights
Van der Vossen Bas, Queralt Jahel (ed.), Economic Liberties and Human Rights, Routledge, Abingdon.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Governement, Harvard University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Center For Economic and Social Rights / Prof. Manuel José Cepeda-Espinosa United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Matthew Stephenson, Harvard Law School United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Roberto Gargarella, University Trocuato di Tella Argentina (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Lea Ypi, Lecturer in Politics, London School of Economics Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
European Research Conferene on Micro Finance Talk given at a conference Entrepreneurial Growth Outcomes of Microfinance Clients. The Role of the Local Business Environment 12.06.2017 Portsmouth, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Fu Jonathan;
Oxford Cyberstudy Group Lecture Series Talk given at a conference Towards Property Owning Democracy by Private Property of Personal Data 20.02.2017 University of Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Cheneval Francis;
Workshop on Economic Liberties, Human Fullfilment and Human Rights Talk given at a conference Self-employment and human rights 19.03.2016 Tucson, United States of America Queralt Lange Jahel;
Annual Conference of the Society of Applied Philosophy Talk given at a conference Protecting the Entrepreneurial Poor 03.07.2015 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Queralt Lange Jahel;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Rights of the Entrepreneurial Poor 26.09.2017 University of Zurich, Center for Human Rights Studies, Switzerland
Economic Liberties and Human Rights 25.05.2017 University of Zurich, Center for Ethics, Switzerland
Finance, Taxation and (Global) Justice 23.09.2015 University of Zurich, Center for Ethics, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Economic Liberties are also the liberties of the poor Washington Post International 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
162376 Finance Taxation and (Global) Justice 01.09.2015 Scientific Conferences

Abstract

This is an interdisciplinary research project by the University of Zurich Competence Centre for Human Rights (UZHR). The project is also supported by the University of Zurich Ethics Centre. It brings together the fields of law, philosophy and economics to investigate the concept of Entrepreneurial Rights (ER; also called business rights or rights to livelihood and entrepreneurship by the UNDP) and to assess the instrumental value of these rights for poverty alleviation in specific contexts. ER are a bundle of rights of individuals to engage in economic activity and include freedoms and opportunities that allow entrepreneurs to contract, make deals, issue shares or bonds to raise investment capital, separate business assets from personal assets and form management hierarchies. BR are not novel. They exist in many legal systems and have been extensively studied as part of private law. What is innovative is the perspective that investigates these rights as fundamental in a way that makes it appropriate to consider them human rights having a significant value for poverty alleviation. The project looks at ER from the perspective of different disciplines that support each other in offering a complete analysis of these rights. There are four goals that together form the purpose of the project as a whole. The first goal is to conceptualize the idea of an “adequate bundle of BR”. The second is to explore the moral and legal foundations of BR. The third is to uncover the existing relationship between ER and other basic rights and values that we believe to be important. Finally, the fourth goal is to specify the demands and responsibilities entailed by ER and identify strategies for meeting them.Many individuals that live in poverty have some resources and engage in entrepreneurial activity. The main problem for them is that their assets are not protected by law - for example, they often lack property rights over the land they possess - and cannot be leveraged in the market due to existing mechanisms of exclusion. Thus, they would benefit from institutional changes that make capital and markets accessible to them, grant protection for their assets and secure them decent working conditions.The UN set down guidelines such institutional reforms by sketching out a comprehensive strategy for alleviating poverty called "legal empowerment of the poor" (2009). This approach is a process of systemic change through which the poor and excluded become able to use the legal system and legal services to protect and advance their rights and interests as citizens and economic actors. The UN identifies BR as an essential aspect of the legal empowerment strategy. This project aims at taking the legal empowerment agenda further by focussing on BR as the most innovative and at the same time the most under-theorized element in the legal empowerment agenda.
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