Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, human rights, UN Human Rights Committee
Abstract: The article discusses how human rights law uses the concept of vulnerability. The first section analyses the origin of the term vulnerability and distinguishes three main types of vulnerability (universal, individual, and group vulnerability). It also explains the two-element understanding of vulnerability that human rights law typically builds upon, it identifies the legal consequences of vulnerability, and ponders the pros and cons of the concept. The second section focuses on the role that the concept of vulnerability plays within the UN human rights system. It provides both a general overview of human rights instruments and the activities of UN human rights bodies, and several concrete examples of the of vulnerability in the case-law of these bodies.