The Right to Adequate Clothing: Obligations Stemming From a Forgotten Right

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Law & Society Association (LSA) Annual Conference 2022 (Lisbon Portugal)

Despite its inclusion within a range of international instruments, most prominently the ICESCR, the human right to adequate clothing has been labelled a forgotten right. It has seldom been engaged with by the international human rights community and neither has it received much scholarly attention. I have suggested elsewhere that ‘The effect of the lack of attention given to the right to clothing is circular. The content of the right is unclear and as such right to clothing claims are not made. Right to clothing claims are not made and as such, there is no perceived need to clarify the content of the right’.

However, powerful arguments can be made in support of reaffirming the right to adequate clothing. By suggesting which obligations ought to flow from the right to adequate clothing, this paper squares this circle. As such, the aims of this paper are two-fold. Firstly, to clarify the content of the right to adequate clothing and, secondly flowing from this, to empower right to clothing claims. This will be achieved by suggesting the range of obligations that flow from the right. Through addressing the right to adequate clothing in a similar manner to which other Article 11 ICESCR rights have been treated, this paper proposes a (minimum) core obligation as part of a proposed normative content of the right to adequate clothing. Following on from this, this paper makes recommendations as to how the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights can integrate the right to clothing into its mandate and makes recommendations as to how states can work towards the realisation of this right.

As such, this paper not only clarifies the content of this surely neglected right but also makes recommendations designed to empower and enhance the realisation of the right to adequate clothing. This in turn will contribute to the enhanced realisation of a range of human rights, in particular economic, social, and cultural rights.
Period13 Jul 2022
Event typeConference
LocationLisbon, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational