Human Rights Council Inc.

New Zealand

Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights.


The Bottom Up Human Rights Challenge to Neo-Liberalism

Anthony Ravlich (MA, BSc, Dip Crim (Hons))
Human Rights Council Inc. ( New Zealand , Asia-Pacific Region)
For details: Ph: (09) 302 2761,
Human Rights Council Inc.

A Better World: My book, 'Freedom from our social prisons', proposes a more ethical, 'Bottom-Up' Approach to Human Rights which equates with those human rights recently excluded by the UN and the global elites after four years of discussions. The relevant human rights instrument concerned with economic, social and cultural rights was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 2008, just after Obama became President. The global elite's new "we are in it together approach”, adopted by Obama and other State leaders (such as New Zealand's John Key), excludes the core minimum obligations of the State as defined by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (yet the committee states that without these core minimums these rights lose their 'raison d'etre'). Also excluded are the right to human rights education, the right to development, and non-retrogression (protecting existing human rights in law and policy). This information is freely available on the internet for anyone who wishes to research the original UN documents.

The above excluded rights have paved the way for a massive increase in global unemployment, the decline of small business and future ethnic conflict is likely (although perhaps in New Zealand largely of a criminal nature) as anger grows at increasing unemployment i.e. directed across ways rather than the policies of government. To address this problem some countries are likely to place more emphasis on small business development in order to employ people and this is likely to lead to increasing economic protectionism with a domino effect as more countries follow suit (although one must be cautious about offering false hope to the most disadvantaged).

FREE LECTURE: Predicted Ethnic Conflict could see a return to Protectionism.

New Zealand, in my view, although very adept at the internal economic war often using extreme structural violence is likely to be averse to any authoritarian approach using direct violence to suppress ethnic conflict especially as it portrays itself at the international and domestic levels as champions of human rights. Consequently when protectionism eventually starts to take hold New Zealand is again very likely to be at the forefront of global economic change – however, in my opinion, the people are badly ill equipped to deal with such sudden change as occurred in 1984. While many are concerned about justice they lack the ability to articulate their concerns using the human rights language so dominant in the world today – in fact, the elites seems to regard such knowledge as their intellectual property but the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is meant for all and does not come under this category. For example, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission will readily admit that while section 5(a) of the Human Rights Act 1993 requires the commission to educate New Zealanders in human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, successive governments have refused to fund it. The very close relationship between human rights and their money is very ill understood by people. An example, is the fact that when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was converted into international law (in the form of two covenants) the right to property was left out of the latter to be dealt with by the UN specialized agencies – the IMF and the World Bank – thereby ensuring a public sector and a socially irresponsible private sector unconcerned with the other human rights. Also there is the present very political nature of the human rights agenda as devised by the global and domestic elites whereby society revolves around the interests of a middle class, professional elite who not only lack the will to ensure their own liberal rights are universal and able to be accessed by the most disadvantaged and marginalized (in the same way that while economic, social and cultural rights are in the Constitution of South Africa they are over ridden by neo liberalism as universal civil and political rights are in New Zealand) but also do not develop beyond liberalism and address the very serious problems of the day.

The above excluded human rights can be struggled for peacefully driven by truly independent NGOs with the support of the discontented throughout society and so help avert any internal conflict.

Freedom from Our Social Prisons

The Rise of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

  • The 'Bottom-up' Human Rights Approach in the book is supported by a number of the world's top human rights experts. Also it is in the policies of the Human Rights Party – candidate, Anthony van den Heuvel, standing in the Mt Albert by-election on June 13).

  • Book Suppressed by New Zealand's Liberal Media and Establishment (but in libraries). However, the publisher, Lexington Books, describes international sales as 'Excellent'.

The purpose of this book is to provide a belief system to empower people using the democratic system and human rights law. This author contends that neo-liberalism has created a large underclass and has impinged upon the right to development for those who do not fit into the "neo-liberal square". Economic, social, and cultural rights, which have been rising in importance within the United Nations and have been denied to many, can be implemented using the core minimum obligations as defined by the General Comments of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This will go a long way toward civilizing neo-liberalism.

The Manipulation Of Human Rights By The Un, Global Elites And New Zealand's Liberal Elite Creating Massive Unemployment.

* Vote for Anthony van den Heuvel, Human Rights Party, Mt Albert By-Election – June 13 *

"In his noteworthy new book, Anthony Ravlich reminds us of the critical need for comprehensive human rights education in order for the poor and disadvantaged to be able to hold state's accountable to fulfil their minimum core obligations under economic and social human rights law. Ravlich accurately points to the devastating impact of structural violence and neoliberal economic policies on the lives of millions who now live in squalor and poverty. He effectively argues that economic globalization proceeded prematurely as it did not include simultaneous economic and social rights protection. Ravlich eloquently calls on states to stop "fudging" on their core minimum obligations and respect the economic rights of the poor. This informed study will be of great use to all concerned with social justice." - William F. Felice, professor of international relations and global affairs, Eckerd College

Table of Contents: The Rise of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Political Tolerance and Core Minimum Obligations. The Politics of Human Rights and the Liberal Oligarchy. The History of Human Rights and the Most Disadvantaged. Lack of Will for Social Justice for the Most Disadvantaged at the UN

FREE LECTURE: The “we are all in it together” Lie (Contact: Tony, ph (09) 302.2761)

Paper USD $32.95 978-0-7391-2287-7 June 2009 Cloth USD $80.00 978-0-7391-2286-0 May 2008


His Honour Judge Philip Recordon (Waitakere, Auckland , New Zealand ) – comment after reading the book: “Very good. Neo liberalism/underclass interesting and very well written” (letter dated 17 December 2008)

Professor Jim Ife: I do like your approach to human rights, which from my point of view have to be 'bottom-up' if they are to have any relevance and to be meaningful to people. I am just finishing a book, to that effect, called "Human Rights from Below" - which seeks to integrate human rights and community development (the latter understood in an organic and bottom-up way, not in UN terms!). Jim Ife is a visiting Professor to the Department of Social Practice, UNITEC, Auckland . He was formerly Professor of Human Rights at Curtin University , Perth and previously Professor of Social Work at the University of Western Australia , Perth .

Noam Chomsky: "Thanks for sending. On a quick scan, looks most interesting".May 26, 2008. Sent letter on November 17, 2008: "I'm very glad to learn about what you are doing, and hope to find time before too long to read the book carefully". I have had six emails from Noam Chomsky in regard to my work – often with supportive, helpful comments and he has critiqued one of my short articles.

Ellie Palmer LLB ( Manchester ), MA PGCE (Glasgow), Lecturer, Department of Law, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex : “This is a good idea. It takes a long time for relevance of books to filter through. I've ordered it. I like your thesis very much”. May 05, 2008

Njal Hostmaelingen, Norwegian Human Rights Centre, Editor of the Nordic Journal of Human Rights: "This project seems highly interesting! The best help I could give you is to find space for a book review in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights, where I am the editor".

Yash Pal Ghai : As of 2007 he is the head of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit of the United Nations Development Programme in Nepal and a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cambodia on human rights. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2005. He was the Sir YK Pao Professor of Public Law at the University of Hong Kong starting in 1989. He has been an Honorary Professor there since his retirement in 1995. Congratulations--very valuable. Did your publisher write to me for a sentence or two on the back cover? I fear I forgot to reply--too busy, and do not normally write such sentences. If I had connected the book to you, I would have been more forthcoming. Is it too late? I will make sure that the existence of the book is brought to the attention of the right people and institutions. May 12, 2008

Khaled Abou el Fadl, The Omar and Azmeralda Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law, has been awarded The University of Oslo's Human Rights Award, The Lisl and Leo Eitinger Prize. Professor Abou el Fadl is one of the leading authorities in Islamic law in the United States and Europe . Alfi Professor of Law. UCLA School of Law: I find your pedagogical approach to teaching human rights fascinating. I would like to request a gratis copy of your book for possible adoption in my human rights course. October 9, 2008.

About the Author: Anthony George Ravlich, MA, BSc, Dip Crim (Hons), Chairperson, Human Rights Council Inc. New Zealand . Ph: (09) 302 2761,; Because of his belief in the universal declaration of human rights he has been forced to live in poverty, mixing with the poor, since 1991 taking casual work as a dish washer, exam supervisor, and English tutor. He has had a very close association with Psychiatric Survivors Inc. since 1992.Planet Radio ‘Human Rights Show’ host and an experienced Statistical Social Researcher


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