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Abstract

There is probably no other topic in the field of human rights that is more difficult to talk about clearly than economic and social rights. The language surrounding economic and social goods as rights claims is often muddled and confusing, lacks precision, and is difficult to grasp. What does it mean, for example, to have a right to the “highest attainable standard of mental and physical health,” for example? What is “highest”? What about “attainable standard”? What is included in “mental and physical health?” Should health care be free-of-charge? Should the state provide it? Would we have to go court to prove we have a need for this “standard?” How do we determine when there has been a violation of this right?

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