European watchdog shows that attack on social protections has followed top-down drive to impose economic cuts

The political drive to enact economic austerity across Europe is not only harming the financial position of millions upon millions of people, it is also undermining human rights protections across the continent and beyond.

That is the message from the Council of Europeans on Wednesday, backed up by a new report (pdf) highlighting how the misguided policies implemented by governments in the name of fighting back against the financial crisis that began in 2008 have had the unintended (though predictable) consequences of harming fundamental social protections, especially for those most needy in society.

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