The Obligation to Fulfill

The obligation to fulfill requires the state to take all the necessary measures for the realization of ESCR. As with civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights require governments to actively participate in fulfilling these rights. This is an obligation of result, meaning that states are responsible for the outcomes of their actions, not just their intentions. This obligation is tied to the notion of progressive realization and maximum available resources, however, it is the burden of the state to prove that they have used, to the greatest extent and in the most efficient and fair manner, the resources at their disposal to ensure the ESC rights of individuals within their jurisdiction.



  • Creating and approving legislation that promotes and protects economic, social, and cultural rights.
  • Allocating all the necessary resources for the achievement of ESCR. This can be done by giving priority to ESCR when planning national budgets.
  • Working with the private sector and civil society to devise strategies on how to tackle social problems such as illiteracy, crime, and HIV/AIDS. 
  • Providing citizens with the proper means to complain and obtain remedies in cases of the violation of their rights.
  • Providing direct subsidies or assistance when the poor are not able to obtain essential services or goods at market prices.
  • Reducing or ending child mortality, hunger, or other sorts of violations.