Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Legal Resource Guide

Scott Leckie
Anne Gallagher
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 776
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt3fhph9
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  • Book Info
    Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
    Book Description:

    In response to a growing global awareness of human poverty and the increasing potential of human rights law as a tool that can be used by the poor to achieve their basic rights, the international body of law, policy and relevant standards on economic, social, and cultural rights has expanded markedly in recent years. Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Legal Resource Guide provides, for the first time, a comprehensive, consolidated source of most major international agreements recognizing economic, social and cultural rights. Readers interested in workers' rights, trade union rights, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to housing, the right to food, the right to health, the right to education, and the right to culture will find this book a vital source of information on the exact legal sources, definitions, and enforcement possibilities associated with these rights. The guide contains key treaties, declarations, general comments, interpretive texts, and charters. Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Legal Resource Guide is an indispensable reference work for all those working in the field of international human rights law. Lawyers, researchers, governmental civil servants, ministerial officials, NGO staff, United Nations and other international officials, aid agencies, community-based organizations, students, and others will find this consolidated source of materials on economic, social, and cultural rights a useful addition to any reference library. Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Legal Resource Guide is organized in an easy-to-use format and is accessible to both lawyers and nonlawyers. The inclusion of legal, policy, and explanatory standards on economic, social, and cultural rights will enable the reader to know not only the law on these rights but the actual meaning accorded these rights under the law.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0538-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Virginia B. Dandan

    In my position as Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, I have come to understand how the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (and other texts supporting these rights) are far from the listless and defeated documents that some commentators would like us to believe they are. The promise of the Covenant to the billions of people who cannot be said to enjoy the full spectrum of human rights, remains as much a source of hope as it was when adopted decades ago. Indeed, my faith in the Covenant and the legal, economic and...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Mary Robinson
  5. Introduction Why a Legal Resource Guide for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights?
    (pp. xiii-xxvi)

    The notion of human rights has been characterized as one of the defining ideas of modern civilization. Economic, social, and cultural rights are an essential part of the human rights equation. The right to an adequate standard of living, the right to work; the right to education, and the right to health are not optional extras but are fundamentally important to human security, happiness, and fulfillment. The international community has recognized this reality and responded to it by developing a range of legal instruments designed to establish standards in this area. Taken together, these instruments provide a framework for the...

  6. Section One: International Instruments and Resources

    • A. Treaties

      • Chapter 1 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (pp. 5-14)

        The States Parties to the present Covenant,

        Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

        Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

        Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy...

      • Chapter 2 Convention on the Rights of the Child
        (pp. 15-34)

        The States Parties to the present Convention,

        Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

        Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

        Recognizing that...

      • Chapter 3 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
        (pp. 35-46)

        The States Parties to this Convention,

        Considering that the Charter of the United Nations is based on the principles of the dignity and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged themselves to take joint and separate action, in co-operation with the Organization, for the achievement of one of the purposes of the United Nations which is to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

        Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human...

      • Chapter 4 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
        (pp. 47-58)

        The States Parties to the present Convention,

        Noting that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women,

        Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the principle of the inadmissibility of discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, including distinction based on sex,

        Noting that the States Parties to...

      • Chapter 5 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
        (pp. 59-76)

        The States Parties to the present Covenant,

        Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

        Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

        Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are...

      • Chapter 6 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (excerpts)
        (pp. 77-88)

        The High Contracting Parties,

        Considering that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly have affirmed the principle that human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination,

        Considering that the United Nations has, on various occasions, manifested its profound concern for refugees and endeavoured to assure refugees the widest possible exercise of these fundamental rights and freedoms,

        Considering that it is desirable to revise and consolidate previous international agreements relating to the status of refugees and to extend the scope of and the protection...

      • Chapter 7 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (excerpts)
        (pp. 89-121)

        The States Parties to the present Convention,

        Taking into account the principles embodied in the basic instruments of the United Nations concerning human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

        Taking into account also the principles and standards set forth in the relevant instruments elaborated within the framework...

      • Chapter 8 ILO Convention No. 29 Concerning Forced Labour (excerpts)
        (pp. 122-130)

        1. Each Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention undertakes to suppress the use of forced or compulsory labour in all its forms within the shortest possible period.

        2. With a view to this complete suppression, recourse to forced or compulsory labour may be had, during the transitional period, for public purposes only and as an exceptional measure, subject to the conditions and guarantees hereinafter provided.

        3. At the expiration of a period of five years after the coming into force of this Convention, and when the Governing Body of the International Labour Office prepares the report...

      • Chapter 9 ILO Convention No. 105 Concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour (excerpts)
        (pp. 131-131)

        Each Member of the International Labour Organization which ratifies this Convention undertakes to suppress and not to make use of any form of forced or compulsory labour—

        (a) as a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system;

        (b) as a method of mobilizing and using labour for purposes of economic development;

        (c) as a means of labour discipline;

        (d) as a punishment for having participating in strikes;

        (e) as a means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination.

        Each...

      • Chapter 10 ILO Convention No. 111 Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation (excerpts)
        (pp. 132-133)

        1. For the purpose of this Convention the term “discrimination” includes —

        (a) any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis or race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation;

        (b) such other distinction, exclusion or preference which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation as may be determined by the Member concerned after consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, where such exist, and with other appropriate bodies.

        2. Any...

      • Chapter 11 ILO Convention No. 117 Concerning Basic Aims and Standards of Social Policy (excerpts)
        (pp. 134-139)

        1. All policies shall be primarily directed to the well-being and development of the population and to the promotion of its desire for social progress.

        2. All policies of more general application shall be formulated with due regard to their effect upon the well-being of the population.

        The improvement of standards of living shall be regarded as the principal objective in the planning of economic development.

        1. All practicable measures shall be taken in the planning of economic development to harmonise such development with the healthy evolution of the communities concerned.

        2. In particular, efforts shall be made to avoid...

      • Chapter 12 ILO Convention No. 122 Concerning Employment Policy (excerpts)
        (pp. 140-141)

        1. With a view to stimulating economic growth and development, raising levels of living, meeting manpower requirements and overcoming unemployment and underemployment, each Member shall declare and pursue, as a major goal, an active policy designed to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment.

        2. The said policy shall aim at ensuring that:

        (a) There is work for all who are available for and seeking work;

        (b) Such work is as productive as possible;

        (c) There is freedom of choice of employment and the fullest possible opportunity for each worker to qualify for, and to use his skills and endowments...

      • Chapter 13 ILO Convention No. 154 Concerning the Promotion of Collective Bargaining (excerpts)
        (pp. 142-144)

        1. This Convention applies to all branches of economic activity.

        2. The extent to which the guarantees provided for in this Convention apply to the armed forces and the police may be determined by national laws or regulations or national practice.

        3. As regards the public service, special modalities of application of this Convention may be fixed by national laws or regulations or national practice.

        For the purpose of this Convention the term “collective bargaining” extends to all negotiations which take place between an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations, on the one hand, and...

      • Chapter 14 ILO Convention No. 168 Concerning Employment, Promotion, and Protection Against Unemployment (excerpts)
        (pp. 145-155)

        In this Convention:

        (a) The term “legislation” includes any social security rules as well as laws and regulations;

        (b) The term “prescribed” means determined by or in virtue of national legislation.

        Each Member shall take appropriate steps to co-ordinate its system of protection against unemployment and its employment policy. To this end, it shall seek to ensure that its system of protection against unemployment, and in particular the methods of providing unemployment benefit, contribute to the promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment, and are not such as to discourage employers from offering and workers from seeking productive employment....

      • Chapter 15 ILO Convention No. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (excerpts)
        (pp. 156-166)

        1. This Convention applies to:

        (a) Tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations;

        (b) Peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of present State boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some...

      • Chapter 16 Convention Against Discrimination in Education (excerpts)
        (pp. 167-170)

        The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 14 November to 15 December 1960, at its eleventh session,

        Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the principle of non-discrimination and proclaims that every person has the right to education,

        Considering that discrimination in education is a violation of rights enunciated in that Declaration,

        Considering that, under the terms of its Constitution, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has the purpose of instituting collaboration among the nations with a view to furthering for all universal respect for human rights...

      • Chapter 17 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (excerpts)
        (pp. 171-173)

        The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

        In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

        The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no...

      • Chapter 18 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (excerpts)
        (pp. 174-176)

        The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

        In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

        The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no...

      • Chapter 19 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (excerpts)
        (pp. 177-190)

        The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

        In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

        The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with...

      • Chapter 20 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (excerpts)
        (pp. 191-213)

        The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

        In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

        The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no...

      • Chapter 21 Geneva Protocol 1 Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (excerpts)
        (pp. 214-226)

        The High Contracting Parties,

        Proclaiming their earnest wish to see peace prevail among peoples,

        Recalling that every State has the duty, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

        Believing it necessary nevertheless to reaffirm and develop the provisions protecting the victims of armed conflicts and to supplement measures intended to reinforce their application,

        Expressing their conviction that nothing in this Protocol...

      • Chapter 22 Geneva Protocol 2 Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (excerpts)
        (pp. 227-232)

        The High Contracting Parties,

        Recalling that the humanitarian principles enshrined in Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 constitute the foundation of respect for the human person in cases of armed conflict not of an international character,

        Recalling furthermore that international instruments relating to human rights offer a basic protection to the human person,

        Emphasizing the need to ensure a better protection for the victims of those armed conflicts,

        Recalling that, in cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of...

    • B. Declarations

      • Chapter 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
        (pp. 235-240)

        Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

        Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

        Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a...

      • Chapter 2 Declaration on Social Progress and Development
        (pp. 241-252)

        The General Assembly,

        Mindful of the pledge of Members of the United Nations under the Charter to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote higher standards of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development,

        Reaffirming faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms and in the principles of peace, of the dignity and worth of the human person, and of social justice proclaimed in the Charter,

        Recalling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the...

      • Chapter 3 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice
        (pp. 253-259)

        The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting at Paris at its twentieth session, from 24 October to 28 November 1978,

        Whereas it is stated in the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945, that “the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races,” and whereas, according to Article...

      • Chapter 4 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
        (pp. 260-263)

        The General Assembly,

        Reaffirming that one of the basic aims of the United Nations, as proclaimed in the Charter, is to promote and encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

        Reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,

        Desiring to promote the realization of the principles contained in the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime...

      • Chapter 5 Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition
        (pp. 264-268)

        The World Food Conference,

        Convened by the General Assembly of the United Nations and entrusted with developing ways and means whereby the international community, as a whole, could take specification to resolve the world food problem within the broader context of development and international economic co-operation,

        Adopts the following Declaration:

        Recognizing that:

        (a) The grave food crisis that is afflicting the peoples of the developing countries where most of the world’s hungry and ill-nourished live and where more than two thirds of the world’s population produce about one third of the world’s food—an imbalance which threatens to increase in...

      • Chapter 6 Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons
        (pp. 269-271)

        The General Assembly,

        Mindful of the pledge made by Member States, under the Charter of the United Nations to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote higher standards of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development,

        Reaffirming its faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms and in the principles of peace, of the dignity and worth of the human person and of social justice proclaimed in the Charter,

        Recalling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of...

      • Chapter 7 Declaration on the Right to Development
        (pp. 272-276)

        The General Assembly,

        Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations relating to the achievement of international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian nature, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

        Recognizing that development is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development...

    • C. Supplementary UN Standards and Resources

      • Chapter 1 CESCR General Comment No. 1 (1989) on Reporting by States Parties
        (pp. 279-281)

        1. The reporting obligations which are contained in part IV of the Covenant are designed principally to assist each State party in fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant and, in addition, to provide a basis on which the Council, assisted by the Committee, can discharge its responsibilities for monitoring States parties’ compliance with their obligations and for facilitating the realization of economic, social and cultural rights in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant. The Committee considers that it would be incorrect to assume that reporting is essentially only a procedural matter designed solely to satisfy each State party’s formal...

      • Chapter 2 CESCR General Comment No. 2 (1990) on International Technical Assistance Measures (Article 22 of the Covenant)
        (pp. 282-285)

        1. Article 22 of the Covenant establishes a mechanism by which the Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of relevant United Nations bodies any matters arising out of reports submitted under the Covenant “which may assist such bodies in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to the effective progressive implementation of the . . . Covenant.” While the primary responsibility under Article 22 is vested in the Council, it is clearly appropriate for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to play an active role in...

      • Chapter 3 CESCR General Comment No. 3 (1990) on the Nature of States Parties Obligations (Article 2(1) of the Covenant)
        (pp. 286-290)

        1. Article 2 is of particular importance to a full understanding of the Covenant and must be seen as having a dynamic relationship with all of the other provisions of the Covenant. It describes the nature of the general legal obligations undertaken by States parties to the Covenant. Those obligations include both what may be termed (following the work of the International Law Commission) obligations of conduct and obligations of result. While great emphasis has sometimes been placed on the difference between the formulations used in this provision and that contained in the equivalent Article 2 of the International Covenant...

      • Chapter 4 CESCR General Comment No. 4 (1991) on the Right to Adequate Housing (Article 11(1) of the Covenant)
        (pp. 291-296)

        1. Pursuant to Article 11 (1) of the Covenant, States parties “recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.” The human right to adequate housing, which is thus derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, is of central importance for the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.

        2. The Committee has been able to accumulate a large amount of information pertaining to this right. Since 1979, the Committee and its predecessors have examined...

      • Chapter 5 CESCR General Comment No. 5 (1994) on Persons with Disabilities
        (pp. 297-306)

        1. The central importance of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to the human rights of persons with disabilities has frequently been underlined by the international community. Thus a 1992 review by the Secretary-General of the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons concluded that “disability is closely linked to economic and social factors” and that “conditions of living in large parts of the world are so desperate that the provision of basic needs for all—food, water, shelter, health protection and education—must...

      • Chapter 6 CESCR General Comment No. 6 (1995) on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Older Persons
        (pp. 307-315)

        The world population is aging at a steady, quite spectacular rate. The total number of persons aged 60 and above rose from 200 million in 1950 to 400 million in 1982 and is projected to reach 600 million in the year 2001 and 1.2 billion by the year 2025, at which time over 70 percent of them will be living in what are today’s developing countries. The number of people aged 80 and above has grown and continues to grow even more dramatically, going from 13 million in 1950 to over 50 million today and projected to increase to 137...

      • Chapter 7 CESCR General Comment No. 7 (1997) on Forced Evictions (Article 11(1), The Right to Adequate Housing)
        (pp. 316-321)

        1. In its General Comment No. 4 (1991), the Committee observed that all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats. It concluded that forced evictions are prima facie incompatible with the requirements of the Covenant. Having considered a significant number of reports of forced evictions in recent years, including instances in which it has determined that the obligations of States parties were being violated, the Committee is now in a position to seek to provide further clarification as to the implications of such practices in terms of...

      • Chapter 8 CESCR General Comment No. 8 (1997) on the Relationship Between Economic Sanctions and Respect for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (pp. 322-325)

        1. Economic sanctions are being imposed with increasing frequency, both internationally, regionally and unilaterally. The purpose of this general comment is to emphasize that, whatever the circumstances, such sanctions should always take full account of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Committee does not in any way call into question the necessity for the imposition of sanctions in appropriate cases in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations or other applicable international law. But those provisions of the Charter that relate to human rights (Articles 1, 55 and 56)...

      • Chapter 9 CESCR General Comment No. 9 (1998) on the Domestic Application of the Covenant
        (pp. 326-330)

        1. In its General Comment No. 3 (1990) on the nature of States parties’ obligations (art. 2, para. 1, of the Covenant) the Committee addressed issues relating to the nature and scope of States parties’ obligations. The present general comment seeks to elaborate further certain elements of the earlier statement. The central obligation in relation to the Covenant is for States parties to give effect to the rights recognized therein. By requiring Governments to do so “by all appropriate means,” the Covenant adopts a broad and flexible approach which enables the particularities of the legal and administrative systems of each...

      • Chapter 10 CESCR General Comment No. 10 (1998) on the Role of National Human Rights Institutions in the Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (pp. 331-332)

        1. Article 2, paragraph 1, of the Covenant obligates each State party “to take steps . . . with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the [Covenant] rights . . . by all appropriate means.” The Committee notes that one such means, through which important steps can be taken, is the work of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights. In recent years there has been a proliferation of these institutions and the trend has been strongly encouraged by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights. The Office of the United Nations...

      • Chapter 11 CESCR General Comment No. 11 (1999) on Plans of Action for Primary Education (Article 14 of the Covenant)
        (pp. 333-335)

        1. Article 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights requires each State party which has not been able to secure compulsory primary education, free of charge, to undertake, within two years, to work out and adopt a detailed plan of action for the progressive implementation, within a reasonable number of years, to be fixed in the plan, of the principle of compulsory primary education free of charge for all. In spite of the obligations undertaken in accordance with Article 14, a number of States parties have neither drafted nor implemented a plan of action for free...

      • Chapter 12 CESCR General Comment No. 12 (1999) on the Right to Adequate Food (Article 11 of the Covenant)
        (pp. 336-344)

        1. The human right to adequate food is recognized in several instruments under international law. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights deals more comprehensively than any other instrument with this right. Pursuant to Article 11.1 of the Covenant, States parties recognize “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions,” while pursuant to Article 11.2 they recognize that more immediate and urgent steps may be needed to ensure “the fundamental right to freedom from hunger and malnutrition.”...

      • Chapter 13 CESCR General Comment No. 13 (1999) on the Right to Education (Article 13 of the Covenant)
        (pp. 345-358)

        1. Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities. Education has a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy, protecting the environment, and controlling population growth. Increasingly, education is recognized as one of the best financial investments States can make. But the importance of...

      • Chapter 14 CESCR General Comment No. 14 (2000) on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health (Article 12)
        (pp. 359-376)

        1. Health is a fundamental human right indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health conducive to living a life in dignity. The realization of the right to health may be pursued by numerous, complementary approaches, such as the formulation of health policies, or the implementation of health programmes developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), or the adoption of specific legal instruments. Moreover, the right to health includes certain components which are legally enforceable.

        2. The human right to health is recognized in numerous...

      • Chapter 15 Revised General Guidelines Regarding the Form and Contents of Reports to be Submitted by States Parties Under Articles 16 and 17 of the ICESCR (1991)
        (pp. 377-395)

        In what manner has the right to self-determination been implemented?

        1. To what extent and in what manner are non-nationals not guaranteed the rights recognized in the Covenant? What justification is there for any difference?

        2. Which of the rights are specifically subject to non-discrimination provisions in national law? Attach the text of such provisions.

        3. If your State participates in development cooperation, is any effort made to ensure that it is used, on a priority basis, to promote the realization of economic, social and cultural rights?

        1. If your State is a party to any of the following Conventions:...

      • Chapter 16 CEDAW General Recommendation No. 13 (1989) on Equal Remuneration for Work of Equal Value
        (pp. 396-396)

        Recalling International Labour Organisation Convention No. 100 concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, which has been ratified by a large majority of States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

        Recalling also that it has considered 51 initial and 5 second periodic reports of States parties since 1983,

        Considering that although reports of States parties indicate that, even though the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value has been accepted in the legislation of many countries, more remains to be done to ensure the...

      • Chapter 17 CEDAW General Recommendation No. 16 (1991) on Unpaid Women Workers in Rural and Urban Family Enterprises
        (pp. 397-397)

        The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,

        Bearing in mind Articles 2 (c) and 11 (c), (d) and (e) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and general recommendation No. 9 (eighth session, 1989) on statistical data concerning the situation of women,

        Taking into consideration that a high percentage of women in the States parties work without payment, social security and social benefits in enterprises owned usually by a male member of the family,

        Noting that the reports presented to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women generally do not...

      • Chapter 18 CEDAW General Recommendation No. 18 (1991) on Disabled Women
        (pp. 398-398)

        The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,

        Taking into consideration particularly Article 3 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

        Having considered more than 60 periodic reports of States parties, and having recognized that they provide scarce information on disabled women,

        Concerned about the situation of disabled women, who suffer from a double discrimination linked to their special living conditions,

        Recalling paragraph 296 of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in which disabled women are considered as a vulnerable group under the heading “areas of special concern,”

        Affirming its...

      • Chapter 19 CEDAW General Recommendation No. 24 (1999) on Women and Health
        (pp. 399-406)

        1. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, affirming that access to health care, including reproductive health, is a basic right under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, decided at its twentieth session, pursuant to Article 21, to elaborate a general recommendation on Article 12 of the Convention.

        2. States parties’ compliance with Article 12 of the Convention is central to the health and well-being of women. It requires States to eliminate discrimination against women in their access to health-care services throughout the life cycle, particularly in the areas of family planning,...

    • D. World Conferences

      • Chapter 1 Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action (excerpts)
        (pp. 409-416)

        The World Conference on Human Rights,

        Considering that the promotion and protection of human rights is a matter of priority for the international community, and that the Conference affords a unique opportunity to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the international human rights system and of the machinery for the protection of human rights, in order to enhance and thus promote a fuller observance of those rights, in a just and balanced manner,

        Recognizing and affirming that all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and that the human person is the central subject...

      • Chapter 2 Beijing Declaration: Fourth World Conference on Women
        (pp. 417-420)

        1. We, the Governments participating in the Fourth World Conference on Women,

        2. Gathered here in Beijing in September 1995, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations,

        3. Determined to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity,

        4. Acknowledging the voices of all women everywhere and taking note of the diversity of women and their roles and circumstances, honouring the women who paved the way and inspired by the hope present in the world’s youth,

        5. Recognize that the status of women has...

      • Chapter 3 Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development
        (pp. 421-443)

        1. For the first time in history, at the invitation of the United Nations, we gather as heads of State and Government to recognize the significance of social development and human well-being for all and to give to these goals the highest priority both now and into the twenty-first century.

        2. We acknowledge that the people of the world have shown in different ways an urgent need to address profound social problems, especially poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, that affect every country. It is our task to address both their underlying and structural causes and their distressing consequences in order...

      • Chapter 4 Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements
        (pp. 444-448)

        1. We, the Heads of State or Government and the official delegations of countries assembled at the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey from 3 to 14 June 1996, take this opportunity to endorse the universal goals of ensuring adequate shelter for all and making human settlements safer, healthier and more liveable, equitable, sustainable and productive. Our deliberations on the two major themes of the Conference—adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world—have been inspired by the Charter of the United Nations and are aimed at reaffirming existing...

    • E. Interpretive Texts

      • Chapter 1 Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (pp. 451-463)

        (i) A group of distinguished experts in international law, convened by the International Commission of Jurists, the Faculty of Law of the University of Limburg (Maastricht, the Netherlands) and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, University of Cincinnati (Ohio, United States of America), met in Maastricht on 2–6 June 1986 to consider the nature and scope of the obligations of States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the consideration of States Parties Reports by the newly constituted ECOSOC Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international co-operation under Part IV of the...

      • Chapter 2 Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (pp. 464-472)

        On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (herein-after “the Limburg Principles”), a group of more than thirty experts met in Maastricht from 22 to 26 January 1997 at the invitation of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva, Switzerland), the Urban Morgan Institute on Human Rights (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA) and the Centre for Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University (the Netherlands). The objective of this meeting was to elaborate on the Limburg Principles as regards the nature and scope of...

      • Chapter 3 Bangalore Declaration and Plan of Action Regarding Economic, Cultural and Social Rights and the Role of Lawyers
        (pp. 473-480)

        1. Between 23–25 October 1995 the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), in conjunction with the Commission’s Triennial Meeting, convened in Bangalore, India, a Conference on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Role of Lawyers.

        2. The Conference was inaugurated by the Hon Chief Justice of India (The Hon A. M. Ahmadi) and the Minister of State for External Affairs (the Hon S. Kurshid, M.P.) in the presence of distinguished jurists from every Continent.

        3. The Conference recalled the long standing commitment of the ICJ to the indivisibility of human rights—economic, social, cultural, Civil and political. That commitment...

      • Chapter 4 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
        (pp. 481-490)

        1. These Guiding Principles address the specific needs of internally displaced persons world wide. They identify rights and guarantees relevant to the protection of persons from forced displacement and to their protection and assistance during displacement as well as during return or resettlement and reintegration.

        2. For the purposes of these Principles, internally displaced persons are persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations...

      • Chapter 5 Comprehensive Human Rights Guidelines on Development-Based Displacement
        (pp. 491-498)

        Recalling the human rights standards established pursuant to the International Bill of Human Rights,

        Whereas many international treaties, resolutions, decisions, general comments, judgments and other texts have recognized and reaffirmed that forced evictions constitute violations of a wide range of internationally recognized human rights,

        Recalling Economic and Social Council decision 1996/290, Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1993/77, and Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities resolution 1996/27,

        Reaffirming that under international law every State has the obligation to respect and ensure respect for human rights and humanitarian law, including obligations to prevent violations, to investigate violations, to take...

    • F. UN Human Rights Special Rapporteurs

      • Chapter 1 The Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (excerpts)
        (pp. 501-511)

        170. It does not seem far-fetched to accentuate that the failure of Governments, and indeed virtually all models of development pursued thus far, in creating conditions whereby the society-wide enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights has occurred, indicates the pressing necessity of new approaches towards this category of rights. While legal approaches can obviously achieve a good deal, these must be coupled with an examination of broader social trends and political realities.

        171. The multi-faceted achievements of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights represent active advancements in this area of international law. The inclusion of an additional...

      • Chapter 2 The Right to Adequate Housing (excerpts)
        (pp. 512-533)

        8. The Special Rapporteur’s working paper (1992) focused primarily on what he recognized as the primary causes of the global housing crisis and various legal issues relating to the human right to adequate housing. The principal reasons for the still widespread denial of housing rights throughout the world, according to the Special Rapporteur, were (i) the failures of government and development policies; (ii) housing discrimination; (iii) environmental health, disasters and housing; (iv) the withholding of information crucial to housing; (v) exploitation in the housing sphere; (vi) speculation and the commoditization of housing; (vii) forced evictions; (viii) armed conflict; (ix) the...

      • Chapter 3 The Relationship Between the Enjoyment of Human Rights, in Particular Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Income Distribution (excerpts)
        (pp. 534-540)

        13. In the preliminary report (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1995/14) to the Sub-Commission, the Special Rapporteur underlined that income distribution, both internationally and nationally, was the principal indicator of social integration and of the fulfilment of minimum requirements in respect of economic, social and cultural rights, enabling human beings to live in society. The object of this first report, presented in August 1995, was to analyse the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights, income distribution, and equality of opportunities. It was argued that it was necessary to rethink economic, social and cultural rights in an increasingly globalized and intercommunicating world. It was asserted...

      • Chapter 4 The Question of the Impunity of Perpetrators of Human Rights Violations (excerpts)
        (pp. 541-553)

        18. Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifies that “Everyone . . . is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation . . . of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.” Further to the reference to international cooperation, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides in Article 2, paragraph 1, that “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with...

      • Chapter 5 The Right to Adequate Food and to be Free from Hunger (excerpts)
        (pp. 554-568)

        1. The Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly affirmed that hunger constitutes an outrage and a violation of human dignity. The present update of my previous study on the right to adequate food is based on the conviction that the widespread failure by States and the international community to ensure freedom from hunger and enjoyment by all of the right to food constitutes one of the most serious shortcomings of the 0human rights agenda. The adoption of urgent measures is required at the national, regional and international levels for the elimination of hunger and the creation of conditions in which...

      • Chapter 6 Violence Against Women (excerpts)
        (pp. 569-583)

        79. Women have been invisible in the development and growth of modern international law. Though law is assumed to be gender-neutral, the norms and standards of international law are generally unconcerned with the “women’s” question. In recent times this approach has changed, especially in the field of international human rights law. The problems associated with gender inequality and violence against women have gained increasing recognition by the international community. There is a concerted effort to eradicate violence against women as part of a worldwide campaign on women’s human rights.

        80. Many international legal instruments dealing with human rights include the...

      • Chapter 7 The Right to Education (excerpts)
        (pp. 584-595)

        30. As the Special Rapporteur noted in her preliminary report, the general question of whether economic, social and cultural rights are justiciable does not apply to the right to education, which is litigated both domestically and internationally. Owing to space constraints, the Special Rapporteur has included in this report only a couple of references to pertinent court cases through which various dimensions of the right to education have been enforced.

        31. The adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women promises to increase international remedies for gender discrimination. It has...

      • Chapter 8 Effects of Structural Adjustment Policies on the Full Enjoyment of Human Rights (excerpts)
        (pp. 596-605)

        58. In many countries currently engulfed by war and internal conflict, adjustment-induced social unrest provided the initial impetus for ethnic, tribal, religious fundamentalist and nationalist frenzy which eventually led to armed conflict. This reassessment of the nature of policy reforms is particularly striking because adjustment programmes are meant, according to their designers, to shift resources towards the poor. But while increases in food prices and cutbacks in government expenditures and employment have taken place as planned, overall economic growth—which was expected to counteract these developments—has not. The negative consequences of “orthodox” adjustment policies are evident in the following...

      • Chapter 9 Human Rights and Extreme Poverty (excerpts)
        (pp. 606-616)

        82. All Governments shall formulate integrated poverty eradication strategies and policies and implement national poverty eradication plans or programmes in a participatory manner, to address the structural causes of poverty, encompassing action at local, national, subregional, regional and international levels. Those plans should establish, within each national context, strategies and affordable time-bound goals and targets for the substantial reduction of overall poverty and the eradication of absolute poverty.

        83. The United Nations Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ) adopted in September 1998 a matrix entitled “Freedom from Poverty: Actions and Partnerships” for inclusion in its Operational Activities Reference...

  7. Section Two: Regional Instruments and Resources

    • Chapter 1 European Social Charter
      (pp. 619-646)

      The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

      Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and of facilitating their economic and social progress, in particular by the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

      Considering that in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed at Rome on 4 November 1950, and the Protocols thereto, the member States of the Council of Europe...

    • Chapter 2 European Social Charter Collective Complaints Procedure
      (pp. 647-651)

      The member States of the Council of Europe, signatories to this Protocol to the European Social Charter, opened for signature in Turin on 18 October 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “the Charter”),

      Resolved to take new measures to improve the effective enforcement of the social rights guaranteed by the Charter;

      Considering that this aim could be achieved in particular by the establishment of a collective complaints procedure, which, inter alia, would strengthen the participation of management and labour and of non-governmental organisations,

      Have agreed as follows:

      The Contracting Parties to this Protocol recognise the right of the following organisations to...

    • Chapter 3 European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms—Protocol One
      (pp. 652-653)

      The Governments signatory hereto, being Members of the Council of Europe,

      Being resolved to take steps to ensure the collective enforcement of certain rights and freedoms other than those already included in Section I of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed at Rome on 4th November, 1950 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Convention’),

      Have agreed as follows:

      Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and...

    • Chapter 4 European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (excerpts)
      (pp. 654-665)

      For the purpose of this Convention, the term “migrant worker” shall mean a national of a Contracting Party who has been authorised by another Contracting Party to reside in its territory in order to take up paid employment.

      This Convention shall not apply to:

      a. frontier workers;

      b. artists, other entertainers and sportsmen engaged for a short period and members of a liberal profession;

      c. seamen;

      d. persons undergoing training;

      e. seasonal workers; seasonal migrant workers are those who, being nationals of a Contracting Party, are employed on the territory of another Contracting Party in an activity dependent on the...

    • Chapter 5 European Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights for Workers (excerpts)
      (pp. 666-673)

      1. Every worker of the European Community shall have the right to freedom of movement throughout the territory of the Community, subject to restrictions justified on grounds of public order, public safety or public health.

      2. The right to freedom of movement shall enable any worker to engage in any occupation or profession in the Community in accordance with the principles of equal treatment as regards access to employment, working conditions and social protection in the host country.

      3. The right to freedom of movement shall also imply:

      i) harmonization of conditions of residence in all Member States, particularly those...

    • Chapter 6 Treaty Establishing the European Community (excerpts)
      (pp. 674-681)

      Resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe,

      Affirming as the essential objective of their efforts the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples,

      The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing the common policies or activities referred to in Articles 3 and 3a, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities, sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, a high degree of convergence of...

    • Chapter 7 American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
      (pp. 682-688)

      The American peoples have acknowledged the dignity of the individual, and their national constitutions recognize that juridical and political institutions, which regulate life in human society, have as their principal aim the protection of the essential rights of man and the creation of circumstances that will permit him to achieve spiritual and material progress and attain happiness;

      The American States have on repeated occasions recognized that the essential rights of man are not derived from the fact that he is a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of his human personality;

      The international protection of the...

    • Chapter 8 American Convention on Human Rights
      (pp. 689-700)

      The American states signatory to the present Convention,

      Reaffirming their intention to consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man;

      Recognizing that the essential rights of man are not derived from one’s being a national of a certain state, but are based upon attributes of the human personality, and that they therefore justify international protection in the form of a convention reinforcing or complementing the protection provided by the domestic law of the American states;

      Considering that these principles have been...

    • Chapter 9 Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“Protocol of San Salvador”)
      (pp. 701-710)

      The States Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights “Pact San José, Costa Rica,”

      Reaffirming their intention to consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man;

      Recognizing that the essential rights of man are not derived from one’s being a national of a certain State, but are based upon attributes of the human person, for which reason they merit international protection in the form of a convention reinforcing or complementing the protection provided by the domestic law of the American...

    • Chapter 10 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women (excerpts)
      (pp. 711-712)

      Recognizing that full respect for human rights has been enshrined in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and reaffirmed in other international and regional instruments;

      Affirming that violence against women constitutes a violation of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and impairs or nullifies the observance, enjoyment and exercise of such rights and freedoms;

      Concerned that violence against women is an offense against human dignity and a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between women and men;

      Recalling the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted...

    • Chapter 11 African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
      (pp. 713-719)

      The African States members of the Organization of African Unity, parties to the present convention entitled “African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”,

      Recalling Decision 115 (XVI) of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its Sixteenth Ordinary Session held in Monrovia, Liberia, from 17 to 20 July 1979 on the preparation of a “preliminary draft on an African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights providing inter alia for the establishment of bodies to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights”;

      Considering the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, which stipulates that “freedom, equality, justice and dignity...

    • Chapter 12 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (excerpts)
      (pp. 720-732)

      The African Member States of the Organization of African Unity, Parties to the present Charter entitled “African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,”

      Considering that the Charter of the Organization of African Unity recognizes the paramountcy of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed therein, without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status,

      Recalling the Declaration on...

  8. Index
    (pp. 733-744)