This study of the protection of fundamental rights during economic crisis comprises three parts. The historical overview will review and draw broad lessons from the academic and policy literature on economic downturns, human rights, and the role of government policy. This will draw on experiences not only in Europe but also in North America, Latin America, and East Asia. Secondly, the case-studies of the policy responses of the EU and individual member state countries will include countries with contrasting responses to the economic crisis, as well as those affected differently by the economic crisis. Finally, proposals as to how policies for protecting fundamental rights can be developed and implemented would be developed through a comparative analysis of the historical overview and the case studies.