The Obligation to Monitor

“…the essential first step towards promoting the realization of economic, social and cultural rights is diagnosis and knowledge of the existing situation.”

- CESCR General Comment 2, Paragraph 3. 24 February 1989.


To fulfill their ESCR obligations, states must monitor the extent to which economic, social, and cultural rights are being enjoyed by people living under their jurisdiction. Monitoring ESCR is necessary to assess the progress made in achieving these rights and identifying areas in which more work is needed; as making public the findings allows public scrutiny of the actions of the government and allows non-governmental organizations to take part in developing strategies to eliminate obstacles standing on the way of fully achieving ESCR. Governments may engage NGOs in monitoring the extent to which ESCR are respected within the country.

Further Readings


"Developing Methodologies and Resources for Monitoring Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Draft)"

by Stephen A. Hansen, Science and Human Rights Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science, March 1998