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Measuring the Progressive Realization of Economic and Social Human Rights in Brazil: A Disaggregated Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Indexi

Patrick Nolan Guyer et al.
Publication year: 
Source of the information: 
Social and Economic Rights Fulfillment Index - SERFINDEX


This paper summarizes findings and conclusions from our application of the Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index developed by Fukuda-Parr, Lawson-Remer and Randolph (2009) to the states of Brazil. The key features of this methodology in assessing economic and human rights fulfillment is the focus on state obligations rather than only on human outcomes, and reference to both level of state resources and the historic achievements of comparator state parties as criteria in assessment. Our results show that none of the states of Brazil are completely meeting their obligations to fulfill economic and social rights although some are far more successful than others, and that fulfillment does not depend on income. States struggle most to meet their obligations to realize the right to decent work and adequate housing, but are somewhat better and meeting their obligations to fulfill the rights to education, the highest attainable standard of health and adequate food. Furthermore, a ranking of the states based on our findings differs significantly from rankings based on GDP per capita or the state-level Human Development Index values alone. This paper summarizes our methodology and findings and also proposes several avenues for further study.