In public policy, austerity measures are “official actions taken by the government, during a period of adverse economic conditions, to reduce its budget deficit using a combination of spending cuts and/or tax rises.” These measures are often unpopular as they often result in lowering, or cutting all together, social services and benefits that government previously had provided.
These measures often affect the ability of persons to realize their human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights, and diminish the state’s ability to fulfill its obligations to protect and fulfill those rights. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, including women, migrants, children and poor who suffer from decreased access to social assistance, and face reduced affordability of water, food, housing and other basic necessities and services.
For further information:
OHCHR, Report on Austerity Measures and Economic and Social Rights, 2013