Trust, the Right to Development, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations of States (ETOs): Reclaiming Education as a Human Right in a Globalised World

Trust in human rights has been lost. They have “lost their bite” at the very point where, in a globalised world, they would need it most – at the point where individuals’ and peoples’ rights are affected by the conduct of other states, as global actors, acting uni-, bi, or multilaterally, e.g., in international organisations. Yet, such conduct remains beyond the purview of human rights. Taking the right to education as an example, if education is a prerequisite for personal and national development, then education as a human right must impose global extraterritorial human rights obligations on states. These would protect education in international development co-operation, finance lending (World Bank, IMF), trade in education services (GATS), copyright regulation (TRIPS), and education policy (OECD). This paper asserts the potential of ETOs as a means of taking the human rights of individuals, peoples, and nations – ultimately thus also the right to development – seriously again.