The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Right to Health of Irregular Migrants, as Reflected in the Jurisprudence of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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Series Details Vol.19, No.2, 2017, p.165-190
Publication Date 2017
ISSN 1388-364X
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In response to the global financial and economic crisis, which began almost a decade ago, many European countries have adopted austerity measures aimed at curtailing public expenditure, which have negatively impacted the domestic realisation of the ‘European Social Model’. In particular, domestic policies on budget containment, and stricter controls on immigration have often curtailed the social right to healthcare for targeted categories of undesired migrants such as undocumented migrants.

The aim of this paper is to assess whether the ‘narrative of the crisis’ has affected the interpretation of the right to health of undocumented migrants within the jurisprudence of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This research offers the opportunity to reflect upon the ‘consistent’ understanding and use of the concepts of ‘vulnerability’, ‘non-discrimination’, ‘core obligations’, and ‘austerity measures’, in relevant reporting material, when undocumented migrants’ access to, and level of, health care is concerned.

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