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Covid-19 and social rights: statement by European Committee of Social Rights

On 22 April, the European Committee of Social Rights(ECSR) issued a statement on COVID-19 and social rights.

In the statement, the ECSR aims to highlight those rights of the European Social Charter that are particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, such as employment and labour rights, the right to social security, social and medical assistance, the right to be protected against poverty and social exclusion, the right to housing and education.

The Committee suggests that in designing and implementing additional measures in response to the challenges presented by the Covid-19, States Parties must take due account of all social rights-holders, according to special attention and appropriate priority to the most socially vulnerable groups and individuals. At the same time, States Parties must ensure that measures taken in response to the crisis, including economic and social policy measures, do not result in discrimination in terms of social rights enjoyment, whether direct or indirect.

The European Committee of Social Rights takes the view that investment in social rights and their delivery – consistent with the use of maximum available resources – will mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis and accelerate the post-pandemic social and economic recovery. The obligations set out by the Charter must serve as a human rights roadmap for the difficult decisions on law, policy and resource allocation that will have to be taken in the coming years.

The full statement is consultable at the link below.

The European Committee of Social Rights is a regional human rights body that oversees the protection of certain economic and social rights and rules on the conformity of the law and practice of the Council of Europe States Parties with the European Social Charter.