Human rights, social investment, social development policy


Human rights provide a normative framework for social policy. Social investments are required for a state to realize the rights of its people. For example, the human right to health requires a well-funded system of health care infrastructure with a well-trained workforce of health care professionals. However, the implications of human rights for social development policies have not been examined. This paper attempts to fill in this gray area by exploring a rights-based approach to social investment. Human rights-based approaches to poverty, health, mental health, child welfare, and older adults are analyzed for their implications for social investment policy proposals. This paper provides underpinnings for human rights-based arguments for social investment policies, adds specificity to rights-based proposals, and furthers the connection between human rights and social development.

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