Maximum Available Resources

Countries must do their utmost to promote ESCR

The obligations of the state in ensuring enjoyment of ESCR go beyond providing a just bare minimum of resources for people's access to basic goods and services for survival. The ICESCR demands that states devote as much resources they can towards fulfilling ESCR. This obligation places a priority on ESCR activities concerning resource allocation, such as determining the national budget. Additionally, states should seek international assistance and cooperation in promoting and protecting ESCR. 


In General Comment 3 (14 December 1990) the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reiterated the onus on the state in defending their failure to allocate  resources to ensuring peoples' ESCR: "In order for a State party to be able to attribute its failure to meet at least its minimum core obligations to a lack of available resources it must demonstrate that every effort has been made to use all resources that are at its disposition in an effort to satisfy, as a matter of priority, those minimum obligations."


Further Readings:

 Measuring State Compliance with the Obligation to Devote the 'Maximum Available Resources' to Realizing Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights” Robert E. Robertson
Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 693-714