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23 Boston College Third World Law Journal 57 (2003)


Human rights language is particularly attuned to setting out the goals of protecting the worlds least protected people. As human rights advocates have entered negotiations with international economic institutions and transnational corporations (TNCs), such negotiations have often resulted in an alternative language to describe the necessity of protecting and promoting human rights. After describing the progressive inclusion of human rights ideas by TNCs, the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO, this Article argues that, while such inclusion is a benefit to the human rights movement, the creation of an alternative language to describe human rights goals is potentially detrimental. The language of human rights, in order to be understood by those it aims to protect, must, above all, be intelligible and accessible to them. At this stage of interactions between human rights advocates and international economic actors, human rights advocates should retain and advance the compelling and utopian language of rights.