Thomas Pogge


Answering the title question requires explicating its meaning and then

examining the empirical evidence. The first task is begun in this

introductory Part I, which gives a rough account of the two groups whose

relation is to be queried: the world's poor and the "we" addressed in the

piece. Part II then proposes a specific understanding of what it means to

violate human rights. I will argue that a human rights violation involves

non-fulfillment of human rights as well as a specific causal relation of

human agents to such non-fulfillment. Importantly, this understanding of a

human rights violation includes not only interactional violations

(perpetrated directly by human agents) but also institutional violations

(caused by human agents through the imposition of institutional

arrangements). Based on the explication of the question in Parts I and II,

Part III goes on to consider some of the evidence relevant to answering the

question. This evidence favors the conclusion that there exists a

supranational institutional regime that foreseeably and avoidably produces

massive human rights deficits. By collaboratively imposing this

institutional scheme, we are indeed violating the human rights of the

world's poor.