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There is a clear overlap between the public objectives of guaranteeing and securing socio-economic human rights enjoyment for all persons, and arranging adequate access to essential public services across society. Both assist in ensuring inclusive societies, with adequate living standards for all, based on human dignity. This edited volume brings together the two topics for the first time in order to explore how socio-economic rights law can be harnessed to reinforce better services access, and how human rights can be strengthened to play an important role in assessing socio-economic legal and policy decisions.
This edited volume actively engages with the nexus between universal public service provision and human rights protection, especially socio-economic human rights protection. The volume attempts to identify practical common challenges for providing essential services, looking at various services and at various regulatory settings. It also seeks to examine how socio-economic rights or guideposts can be harnessed to improve their provision. The book goes on to examine the relationship between State-actors and private business actors who increasingly take on the provision of essential services and explores how this may make it necessary to hold private actors responsible for human rights. The final part of the book discusses the need to ensure sufficient ‘checks and balances’ in the universal essential public services provision, focused particularly around the human rights concepts and requirements of ‘participation’ and ‘accountability’.