Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy

Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy

The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law was founded in 2005. Our mission is threefold:

- To promote human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, within the Northeastern community;

- To support cutting-edge scholarship on human rights with a particular focus on economic, social, and cultural rights;

- To work to implement human rights norms and sound economic development approaches worldwide.

Featured Publications

Voluntary Local Reviews and the Human Right to Water 

The latest publication in PHRGE's series on water and human rights in the US,  “Voluntary Local Reviews and the Human Right to Water,” reports on the local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal #6 on the right to water. This briefing is the product of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, with input from the interdisciplinary research team for the project Water Unaffordability in the United States: Using Principles of Organizational Capacity to Understand Municipal Variation in Providing Water Access (NSF Award No. 1948790).

Brianna Ziegenhagen ’22 is the lead author of the report. Additional comments and feedback were provided by Martha F. Davis, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Northeastern University; Amanda Lyons, Executive Director, Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota; and Laura Senier, Associate Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, Northeastern University.

This is PHRGE’s sixth publication in a series on the human right to water. The other publications are: (1) The Human Right to Water: A Research Guide and Annotated Bibliography; (2) The Human Right to Water: Using Freedom of Information Laws to Understand Rising Water Rates; (3) The Human Right to Water: A Primer for Lawyers and Community Leaders; and (4) A Drop in the Bucket: Water Affordability Policies in Twelve Massachusetts Communities; and (5)  “Disconnected: How Household Water Shutoffs in the United States During the COVID Pandemic Violate the Human Right to Water.” 

Roshni PatelChampioning Water Rights as Human Rights

In conjunction with her participation in Professor Martha Davis’ Human Rights in the United States seminar, Roshni Patel ’20 is the lead author of a new chapter on the water and human rights, supplementing the 2014 edition of Human Rights in the US: A Handbook for Legal Aid Attorneys. The chapter reflects an ongoing collaboration between the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), co-directed by Davis, and Maryland Legal Aid (MLA). Frank Vitale ’14, senior attorney for human rights at MLA, worked closely with Patel as she developed the chapter and expects to put it to use in MLA’s practice.

A Drop in the Bucket: Water Affordability Policies in Twelve Massachusetts Communities
As part of a research team at Northeastern University that is studying water unaffordability and its impacts in 12 Massachusetts communities including Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield, Somerville, Quincy and Worcester, Professor Martha Davis was lead author on PHRGE's fourth publication in a series on the human right to water.
(Released July 2019) 

Opportunities

The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy provides many opportunities for faculty, law graduates, and current students to work on promoting and implementing human rights, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights. It is also the center of human rights research and scholarship at Northeastern University School of Law.

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