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International Human Rights Law

International Human Rights Law (10th edn)

Rhona K. M. Smith
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date: 22 March 2023

p. 30716. The right to an adequate standard of livinglocked

p. 30716. The right to an adequate standard of livinglocked

  • Rhona K. M. SmithRhona K. M. SmithProfessor of International Human Rights, Newcastle University


This chapter examines the right to an adequate standard of living in international human rights law. This is an example of a socio-economic right. It has many components in international law and so this chapter discusses issues such as the right to housing, food, water, and social security. To some commentators this right is the realization of ‘freedom from want’ as it ensures the basic necessities of life. Some elements have been well litigated; housing and forced evictions, for example. Understanding and realization of other elements are still emerging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed understanding of the importance of the right to an adequate standard of living, especially housing and social security rights as well as the right to clean water.

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