Rethinking Transitions: economic and social justice in societies emerging from conflict
Transitions bring the opportunity to rewrite the social contract between state and society, to restructure institutional architecture and tackle the political, social and economic deficits that contribute to social exclusion and deprivation. In transitions, economic and social rights have the potential to translate people’s social justice claims into normative and enforceable entitlements through constitutional processes and national legislation. Human rights principles and standards should inform the design and implementation of international aid and development policies, assist domestic policymakers in setting priorities, encourage participatory processes in policy design and monitoring and promote effective access to justice and redress mechanisms. Institutional reforms must also address the need for transparent and non-discriminatory fiscal policy and taxation systems as a critical means to combat inequality. They should also ensure the creation of independent and effective oversight mechanisms, including national human rights institutions, high-level mechanisms to promote and protect women’s rights, and efficient judicial and non-judicial mechanisms to address violations of human rights including economic and social rights.