Private Use of Prisoners' Labor: Paradoxes of International Human Rights Law
Abstract

Globalization is generally thought to be harmful for human rights, as the state retreats in favor of international organizations or private actors. Analysis of human rights law regulating the use of prisoners' labor offers an interesting insight into the impact of globalization on human rights, particularly where the private operation of prisons is concerned. Prisoners held in privately run facilities are better protected by international human rights law than those in publicly-run prisons, at least in their capacity as workers. The applicable law, however, offers only tenuous protection: there are doctrinal inconsistencies, and the law presumes that state power exists to exact forced labor.


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