The protection of non-nationals' economic, social and cultural rights in UN human rights treaties

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The decade of austerity policies resulting from the 2008 economic crisis significantly impeded the realisation of economic, social and cultural (esc) rights worldwide, especially for non-nationals who became targets of populist nationalist ideologies. The Coronavirus disease (covid-19) pandemic and its subsequent recession have heightened existing levels of inequalities, putting non-nationals' access to health, housing, food, water and work under unprecedented strains. It is thus, crucial to analyse the extent to which un human rights treaties recognise non-nationals' esc rights, in order to assess their ability to offer protection in this context. This article sheds light on the ambiguities of key un human rights treaties in this regard. It then analyses the attempts of relevant un treaty bodies to circumvent such issues; and finally suggests legal paths allowing un treaty bodies to further assert their protection of non-nationals' esc rights during the covid-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-290
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Human Rights Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Claire Lougarre, 2020


  • Coronavirus disease (covid-19) pandemic
  • Economic
  • Non-nationals
  • Social and cultural rights
  • Treaty interpretation
  • Un human rights treaties
  • Un treaty bodies


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