An empirical study on the principles of indivisibility and interdependence / by Flavio Azevedo

In this article, I set out to investigate the extent to which the contemporary debate about the indivisibility principle has translated into in tandem state respect for the historically separated set of rights, i.e. Civil & Political rights and Social, Economic and Cultural rights. Adapting and expanding on the ideas and methods proposed by Minkler, while using data collected by both CIRI and SERF, an empirical method is provided for the evaluation of states’ adhesion to the principle of indivisibility. It is done via a series of numerical techniques which were able to produce global, regional and country-specific longitudinal profiles of respect for each set of human rights. Additionally, an investigation is carried out to examine the extent to which human rights are in practice interdependent. In doing so, a bird’s-eye view analysis of states’ respect for human rights is provided. Results show that states’ practices in terms of upholding civil & political rights and fulfilling economic & social rights are neither frequently exercised, nor reveal any sort of dependence or reinforcing characteristic. Interestingly, is the finding that while civil & political rights are especially vulnerable worldwide, states that prioritized this set of rights, as opposed to prioritize economic & social rights, are shown to be committed to respecting both sets of rights – thus respecting the indivisibility principle. The opposite, however, does not hold true. Finally, the pertinence and applications of the proposed methods and findings are discussed.

[Stage: adapting M.Sc. manuscript for submission]