Is there a Human Right to Microfinance?

In Tom Sorell & Luis Cabrera (eds.), Microfinance, Rights, and Global Justice. Cambridge University Press. pp. 27-46 (2015)
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This chapter is divided into three parts. In the first, I ask whether there is a human right to be spared extreme poverty. The answer is ‘Not necessarily’ if a human right is a legal right, and I argue that ‘human right’ either means a right in international law and associated policy, or else the term has an unacceptably wide sense. In the second section I consider microcredit as a poverty-alleviating mechanism, distinguishing between extreme and relative poverty in developing countries. I argue that credit may not be a good way of alleviating extreme poverty, and that methods of collecting debt used by microcredit providers may have moral drawbacks. In the third section I consider the fit between the class of agents currently involved in offering financial services to the poor, and the class of agents recognized as duty-bearers by human rights law and policy. Unless states become highly involved in microcredit, it is not clear that microfinance providers are or can be human rights duty bearers.



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Author Profiles

Tom Sorell
University of Warwick
Luis Cabrera
Griffith University

Citations of this work

The Right to Credit.Marco Meyer - 2017 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (3):304-326.
Protecting the entrepreneurial poor: A human rights approach.Jahel Queralt - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (4):336-357.

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