Economic Social Cultural Rights

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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building in two decades. Many more have written about the "grand strategy of resolute restraint" and the geopolitical 'great game' implications of the United States withdrawal, and as we write, even more are engrossed with the ongoing cycle of unilateral and now retaliatory and seemingly preemptive uses of force by the United States under the Biden Administration (and whether this falls under the original 2001 Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force) against the recent ISIS-K bombing at Kabul airport and ongoing drone attacks alleged "credible threats".  The United Nations Security Council has called for ISIS-K bombers and those responsible to be brought to justice, but it is silent on the…

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FIDH and Inclusion Europe v. Belgium: Chronicle of a Conviction Foretold

On 3 February 2021 the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) publicized its decision in International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Inclusion Europe v. Belgium. The decision followed a collective complaint by two organisations alleging a violation of Belgium’s obligations under the European Social Charter and is the latest in a series of ECSR-decisions on…

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Some Vaccination Questions, Ethical and Legal

It’s difficult to think of a more pressing problem today than how scarce coronavirus vaccines should be distributed between and within states. Newspapers are full of discussions of ‘vaccine nationalism,’ of the EU-UK-Astra Zeneca row, or of the limited availability of vaccines in the developing world. For us as international lawyers, obviously, the further issue – one to…

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Equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution and Access: Enforcing International Legal Obligations under Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Right to Development

Editor's Note: This post was prepared in advance of my remarks for the 12 February 2021 Global Webinar of the Notre Dame Eck Institute of Global Health ("Are we all in this together? Assessing and addressing equitable access and distributive justice in global supply chains during major disease outbreaks").  By this time, US pharmaceutical companies…

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International Law and the Right to Food: What We Can Learn from Racial Justice Movements

Until very recently, international law usually dealt with questions of race and racism through two primary mechanisms: denial and containment. On the one hand, the outlawing and criminalisation of the most egregious forms of racial discrimination contributed to the narrative that international law was the polar opposite and even the primary antagonist of racism, which was…

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