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Rethinking work, the right to work, and automation.

  • Academic Journal
  • Journal of Human Rights; Jan-Mar2022, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p56-72, 17p, 1 Chart
  • Automation technology is increasingly used to replace workers, stirring anxiety about work and the prospect of mass unemployment or underemployment. Noting that we live not only in "the age of automation" but also in "the age of rights," this article poses a specific question: Can automation help create an environment more conducive to the fulfillment of human rights? It examines work and reconceives the right to work in relation to work-related rights (e.g., the right to adequate living, the right to leisure) by emphasizing their interdependency. It contends that automation, from a human rights perspective, presents an opportunity to delink work from subsistence needs and fulfill various rights. Exploring redistributive proposals that directly or indirectly deal with work-related rights, the article identifies four models that can both benefit from automation and help realize its emancipatory human rights potential: guaranteed full employment, universal basic income, state socialism/planned economy, and communism. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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