Katerina Housos


Austerity; Greek; Debt; Discrimination; Right to Work; Rights-Based Approach; Policy; Bailout


This Note analyzes the legal framework for the protection of the right to work under national and international laws, and the limitations for Greece regarding the implementation of austerity measures that result in causing retrogression in the enjoyment of this right. Part I discusses the background of the Greek financial crisis, the financial assistance mechanisms and the adopted austerity measures. Part II examines the legal framework for the protection of the right to work, as well as the principles of equality, non-discrimination and progressive realization of human rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”). Finally, Part III demonstrates how the adopted Greek austerity measures violate international and national laws and advocates for the adoption of a stricter rights-based approach for states willing to implement austerity programs. Part III further argues for a rightsbased approach during times of financial crisis, with a minimum core of human rights obligations to always be respected.