London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Seminar Series 2011

Human rights and social justice in an age of austerity   

Part sponsored by

Click HERE to access further details, audio/video and available speaker

transcripts for all six seminars in the series

The UK is experiencing a period of public austerity unparalleled in the post-war era. Authoritative commentators say that spending cuts and tax and welfare reform will have a regressive and discriminatory impact and will increase social inequality.

All parties agree that austerity must be ‘fair’, yet fairness remains an ill-defined term.  Politicians rarely speak of the need for the government to comply with its human rights obligations under domestic and international law as a means of either defining or guaranteeing fairness. Human rights, and in particular economic and social rights, have been absent from most public and political debate about whether and how austerity should be pursued

In January-July 2011, a series of public seminars organised by the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute at London Metropolitan University addressed this omission by debating the value of human rights standards and principles as a means of scrutinising the impact of public policy, identifying its true cost and, where necessary, proposing alternatives. The series also explored what it means in practice to integrate equality and human rights approaches in legal, policy and political responses to austerity. 

The public seminars were attended by a total of around 350 scholars, students, policy makers, practitioners and civil society actors who debated with panels of distinguished speakers this critical issue of our times. 

Related links:  Brief on austerity and human rights 


   Company Information    Page last updated 02 November 2010     Contact Page Owner (Aruna Dudhia)