With the implementation of the Human Rights Act in 2000, the mainly civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights are, for the first time, directly enforceable in UK law. While welcoming this significant advance, the authors argue that protection should be extended to the full range of economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights, such as the rights to health care and to a decent standard of living. Poverty and social exclusion are presented as a denial of human rights, and ESC rights as an essential foundation of citizenship.
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