Economic Social Cultural Rights

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COVID-19, the right to education and Bangladesh

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift in the understanding of human rights jurisprudence. Like many other human rights, the right to education is now continuously being rethought and renegotiated within the constant pulls of statist economic priorities and public health emergencies. In the context of Bangladesh, these pulls are rather strong. The pandemic has penetrated the thin veneers of ‘economic constraints’ and ‘progressive realisation’ that the country always hid behind. It is the pre-pandemic priorities, manifested through the rights-enforcement and budgetary frameworks, which are now defining the vulnerability of the country in terms of protecting the citizens’ right to education, among other rights, at present. The responses to COVID-19 pandemic in the education sector are failing to be an equaliser and, for the reasons set out below, are not compliant with the country’s international human rights obligations.

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We Can’t Breathe: UN OHCHR Experts Issue Joint Statement and Call for Reparations

No one on this planet could have failed to see the 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which George Floyd was killed. The United States signed the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1966, ratifying the same in 1994.  Article 2 of ICERD contains fundamental obligations assumed by parties to…

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The Myth and Mayhem of ‘Build Back Better’: Human Rights Decision-Making and Human Dignity Imperatives in COVID-19

Human rights were already under siege everywhere around the world before COVID-19.  But there is also a dawning race now against reaching the ‘twilight of human rights law’, due to: 1) authoritarian regimes’ dismissal of the relevance of human rights while using this pandemic to expand and consolidate their power, such as to silence speech,…

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Calibrating Human Rights and Necessity in a Global Public Health Emergency: Revive the UN OHCHR’s ICESCR Compliance Criteria

COVID-19 has reached every continent, every region, and almost all countries in the world. Most of us are either in quarantine, sheltering in place, in hospitals fighting for lives, in the front lines of depleting health care resources in the developed and developing world, or attempting some semblance of life (e.g. transplanting…

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Human Rights Regulation in the Tech Sector? The European Court of Justice’s Facebook Decision and California’s AB5 Gig Economy Bill

BigTech may well be the new BigPharma where local, national, or regional human rights-based litigation and human rights-based regulation is concerned.  While the recent exchanges between US presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg signal a looming antitrust showdown, recent regional judicial and local legislative developments concretely demonstrate the human rights-based trajectory of…

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