Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (General)

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South Africa is in the midst of an HIV/AIDS epidemic with more than 6 million people infected.    In 2,000, with infections of newborns in the range of 80,000 per year, the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine offered the potential of preventing the infection of 30 – 40,000 children per year.  The drug was offered to the Government for free for five years, but the South African Government announced it would introduce Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) only in certain pilot sites and would delay setting these up for a year, thereby denying most mothers access to treatment.  The Treatment Action

“…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.

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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...

The obligation to protect requires the state to ensure that actions of third parties (non-state actors), under its jurisdiction, do not affect economic, social, and cultural rights. States must guarantee that essential goods and services such as healthcare, and education, that are provided by...

The obligation to respect requires the state refrains from any acts that violates economic, social, and cultural rights. States should recognize and uphold the ESCR of all the individuals who live under their jurisdiction (both nationals and non-nationals). Special attention should be shown to...

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...

Given the resource and knowledge restraints faced by many countries, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights recognizes the fulfillment of economic and social rights can only be achieved over time, and calls for the progressive realization...

Governments, no matter what level of resources are at their disposal, are obligated to make sure that people living under their jurisdiction enjoy at least essential levels of protection of each of their economic, social, and cultural rights. While the ICESCR recognizes the principle of...

 

 

Economic, social and cultural rights are also recognized in national constitutions.


The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was signed...

The Commission on Human Rights has established certain mechanisms to address thematic and country-specific human rights issues. One of these special procedures is the appointment of special rapporteurs or independent experts, whose mandate is to “...