Porträtaufnahme Nicolas Bueno

Emancipation from Work

By Stefan Stöcklin; English translation by Caitlin Stephens

The research being done by lawyer Nicolas Bueno, a postdoc at the UZH Center for Human Rights Studies, opens up a new perspective on the world of work. Taking as his starting point the right to work, which was laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights more than 70 years ago, Bueno is examining whether the right needs to be updated or even recast.

“Instead of talking about the right to work, we should be looking toward freedom and independence from work,” says the lawyer. He argues that the “guarantee of work” hailing from the post-war era cannot be upheld and is dependent on continually increasing consumption with all the consequences that entails. Bueno sees a solution in technological advances that would enable partial emancipation from work. “We should use technology and human potential to reduce our working hours,” says Bueno, “instead of using them to increase income and consumption.”

 In his research work, which he is able to continue thanks to an Ambizione grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation, he wants to draw up proposals for a future right to greater emancipation from work.