Vulnerability, Irregular Migrants’ Health-Related Rights and the European Court of Human Rights

in European Journal of Health Law
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The protection of irregular migrants’ health-related rights brings to the fore the tensions that exist between human rights, citizenship and the sovereign state, and exposes the protection gaps in the international human rights regime. With this in mind, I consider the merits of a vulnerability analysis in international human rights law (ihrl). I posit that, detached from specific groups and reconceptualised as universal, vulnerability can be reclaimed as a foundation and tool of ihrl. I further contend that the deployment of a vulnerability analysis can alleviate the exclusionary dimension of ihrl and extend protections to irregular migrants. On this basis, I investigate the development of a vulnerability analysis in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. I argue that, in contrast with the Court’s vulnerable population approach, a vulnerability analysis can improve protection standards for irregular migrants in the field of health.

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References

1

B.S. Turner, Vulnerability and Human Rights, (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Presses, 2006), pp. 2, 89.

2

L. Bernier, “International socio-economic human rights: the key to global health improvement”, The International Journal of Human Rights 14(2) (2010) 246–279, p. 249.

7

M. A. Fineman, “The vulnerable subject: anchoring equality in the human condition”, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 20(1) (2008) 1–23, p. 1.

8

Turner, supra note 1, p. 1.

17

F. Mégret, “The Disabilities Convention: human rights of persons with disabilities or disability rights?”, Human Rights Quarterly 30 (2008) 494–516, p. 495.

21

See Chapman and Carbonetti, supra note 18, p. 706.

23

Ibid., p. 707.

25

Fineman, supra note 20, p. 16; L. Peroni and A. Timmer, “Vulnerable groups: the promise of an emerging concept of European Human Rights Convention Law”, International Journal of Constitutional Law 11(4) (2013) 1056–1085, p. 1071.

26

Fineman, ibid., p. 16.

29

Peroni and Timmer, supra note 25, pp. 1073–1074; and Mary Keogh, Noelin Fox and Eilionóir Flynn, “How Far Towards Equality? A Vulnerabilities Aprroach to the Rights of Disabled People”, 2010. ucd Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies, Research Paper No. 29/2010. Retrieved 15 March 2014, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1634806.

33

See e.g., A. B. Kaplan, “Father doesn’t always know best: rejecting paternalistic expansion of the direct threat defense to claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act”, Dickinson Law Review 106(2) (fall 2001) 389–414.

34

Fineman, supra note 7, p. 8; Fineman, supra note 20, p. 14. Fineman makes this point in the context of the us approach to equality.

36

Fineman, supra note 20, p. 15. Although Fineman’s observations were made in the context of the us approach to equality, these are relevant beyond the us context and to anti-discrimination laws and policies.

37

S. A. FitzGerald, “Biopolitics and the regulation of vulnerability: the case of the female trafficked migrant”, International Journal of Law in Context 6(3) (2010) 277–294, p. 279.

38

Mégret, supra note 17, p. 495.

40

Ibid., p. 43.

41

Ibid., pp. 96–113.

42

Ibid., p. 126.

43

Ibid., p. 151.

46

Turner, supra note 1, pp. 2 and 89.

47

D. Dauvergne, “Sovereignty, migration and the rule of law in global times”, Modern Law Review, 67(4) (2004) 588–615, p. 601.

48

Da Lomba, supra note 6.

50

Ibid., pp. 367 and 370.

55

A. Buchanan, “From Nuremburg to Kosovo: the morality of illegal international legal reform”, Ethics 111(4) (2001) 673–705, p. 688.

59

Fineman, supra note 7, pp. 10–12.

61

M.A. Fineman, “Elderly” as vulnerable: rethinking the nature of individual and societal responsibility”, The Elder Law Journal 20(2) (2012) 71–112, p. 88.

62

Fineman, supra note 7, p. 1.

64

M. A. Fineman, “The vulnerable subject and the responsive state”, Emory Law journal 60(2) (2010–11) 251–275, p. 269.

65

Fineman, supra note 7, p. 10.

66

Fineman, supra note 61, p. 98.

67

Ibid., p. 99.

69

Fineman, supra note 7, p. 13.

71

Fineman, supra note 64, p. 269.

72

Ibid., p. 255.

73

Turner, supra note 1 p. 28

76

Fineman, supra note 61, p. 96.

78

Fineman, supra note 61, p. 96.

80

Peroni, Timmer, supra note 25, p. 1074.

81

Turner, supra note 1, p. 1.

83

Timmer, supra note 58, p. 162.

84

Turner, supra note 1, p. 110.

85

Ibid., p. 36.

86

Ibid., p. 37.

87

Grear, supra note 39, p. 135.

88

Ibid., pp. 160–161.

99

Peroni and Timmer, supra note 25, p. 1065. Peroni and Timmer describe these cases as ‘maldistribution cases’ (ibid.).

129

Timmer, supra note 58, p. 164.

139

Timmer, supra note 58, p. 162.

149

Timmer, supra note 58, p. 168 (emphasis added).

151

Palmer makes a similar point; E. Palmer, “Beyond arbitrary interference: the right to a home? Developing socio-economic duties in the European Convention on Human Rights”, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 61(3) (2010) 225–243, p. 242.

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