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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Relational socio-economic rights
Author:Pieterse, MariusISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights (ISSN 0258-7203)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social and economic rights
interpersonal relations
Abstract:Notwithstanding the State-centredness of most theories on socioeconomic rights, the objects of these rights are often accessed privately, within and by way of relationships. Viewing socioeconomic obligations as primarily enforceable against the State ignores the significant power of parties to private relationships to control the terms of access to essential goods and services. It also fails to hold them accountable for the manner in which this power is wielded. It is therefore necessary to develop a theory of horizontal application of socioeconomic rights that recognizes, assigns, enforces and enables observance of socioeconomic obligations within private relationships. This article investigates relational access to socioeconomic rights in South Africa, with the aim of identifying public law interventions, or changes to the private law landscape, that would assist vulnerable parties in dependency-producing relationships to access the objects of their socioeconomic rights. It provides an overview of the different kinds of relationship that structure private access to socioeconomic goods and services and considers factors that impact on the extent and quality of access to socioeconomic rights within these relationships. Thereafter, it considers ways in which vulnerabilities associated with relational access to essential goods and services may be reduced. Finally it argues for transcending the private/public dichotomy and warns against the privatization of public welfare responsibility. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]