Mantouvalou, V (2013) Workers Without Rights as Citizens at the Margins. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy , 16
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This article presents a normative account of citizenship, which requires respect for labour rights, as much as it requires respect for other human rights. Full citizenship requires the protection of all groups of rights. The notion of marginal citizenship (as opposed to full citizenship) captures those who are excluded from some of the rights of citizenship; those that live in a particular community, participate in that community through their work or otherwise, have certain rights, but are unfairly excluded from some other rights. More precisely, this essay argues that the right to have a job is a necessary but not sufficient element for citizenship. Labour rights are also essential for citizenship. Marginal citizens, then, for the purposes of this contribution are those who are workers, but are excluded from protection of their labour rights through legislation. The marginalisation of workers becomes particularly dramatic when they are migrant, and immigration legislation gives the employer a special power to exercise arbitrary control over them: a power to dominate them. The exclusion of certain categories of workers, such as domestic workers, from these rights is wrong. This piece presents domestic workers as marginal citizens, who are unfairly deprived of certain labour rights in national legal orders. It also shows that international human rights law counteracts the marginal legal status of these groups of workers. By being attached to everyone simply by virtue of being human, irrespective of nationality, human rights can complement citizenship rights when both are viewed as normative standards. The example of domestic work as it has been approached in international human rights law in recent years, shows that certain rights of workers are universal. Their enjoyment cannot depend on citizenship as legal status or on regular residency. The enjoyment of labour rights as human rights depends, and should only depend, on the status of someone as a human being who is also a worker.
|Title:||Workers Without Rights as Citizens at the Margins|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws|
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