Debt, Austerity, and the Structural Responses of Social Rights
Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina (eds), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights (OUP 2018)
22 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2018
Date Written: 2018
The financial and economic crises of 2007/8, and the following rush to fiscal austerity in many countries throughout the world, posed another threat to social rights standards among an existing litany of pressures. It was unsurprising that the combination of an economic downturn and a contractionary turn in fiscal policy affected economic and social rights most seriously, and the most vulnerable disproportionately.
In this chapter, social rights’ capacity to engage with the structural issues underlying problematic sovereign debt and austerity is addressed in the context of the range of structural problems faced by social rights. The chapter addresses engagement with structural issues with the aim of determining patterns in the Committee’s current approach and identifying how there might be a better engagement with the structural potential of social rights obligations in future. The chapter first sketches an outline of the Committee’s handling of structural issues. Following this, the value of the CESCR improving its engagements with structural issues is assessed, before a final section turns to the question of what improvements might be made.
Keywords: Human Rights, Economic And Social Rights, Austerity, Structures, UN, International Law
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