Publication: “Balancing Socio-economic Rights: Confronting COVID-19 in South Africa’s Informal Urban Settlements”

This article, which straddles my three central areas of expertise (urban law, socio-economic rights and the right to health) has just appeared in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights. It flows from my involvement, as part of a legislative and policy review team for the South African Department of Human Settlements, in the Department’s initial response to Covid-19 in informal urban settlements. I was frustrated by the path-dependencies inherent to the initial State response, but equally frustrated by some civil society representatives’ knee-jerk responses thereto. The standoff between the Department and members of civil society, who respectively rallied around dominant understandings of the rights to housing and health, made me think about the need for reconciliatory paradigms that could accommodate the interests inherent to both. I presented an early version of the article at UN Habitat and the University of London’s Institute for Advanced Legal Studies’ joint “Urban Law Day” in July of 2020.

Please email me if you would like a copy.


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