The protection of social rights under article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights: the right to respect for private and family life

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Aizpurua Alquezar, Irati
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The protection of human rights is divided into two parallel systems within the framework of the Council of Europe. The main shortcoming of the European Convention on Human Rights is that it provides almost exclusively for civil and political rights. Therefore, the protection of social rights comes up against the substantive limits of the text. Social rights are guaranteed under the European Social Charter, which should be complementary to the Convention in the social field. Nonetheless, applicants lodge individual complaints before the Court and although the vast majority of the applications directly concerned with social rights have been declared inadmissible, in other cases the Court has ruled on social matters. The right to respect for private and family life as enshrined in Article 8 of the ECHR would be the adequate framework to encompass social rights and, in the light of the case law, there are already some social rights that can be considered as enforceable under that provision . This raises questions about the limits of the Convention interpretation by European judges and demonstrates that a deep debate on the links between two control organs, the European Committee of Social Rights and the European Court on Human Rights, is needed towards an effective enjoyment and protection of social rights within the Council of Europe.
Second semester University: Université de Strasbourg
European Convention on Human Rights - Article 8, social rights