Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring

By Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights | Go to book overview

Chapter XVII
MONITORING
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND
CULTURAL RIGHTS ………..

Key concepts

The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights does not require a Government
immediately to feed, clothe and house its residents, but it does require the Government to
take steps towards the full realization of those rights, to avoid measures which would
diminish those rights, and to forbid discrimination with regard to those rights.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has also begun to define
“minimum core obligation to ensure the satisfaction of each of, at the very least,
minimum essential levels of each of the rights” (emphasis added). A State party that is
unable to fulfil this obligation must “demonstrate that every effort has been made to use
all resources at its disposition in an effort to satisfy as a matter of priority those
minimum obligations”.

Field operations have generally given a lower priority to monitoring economic, social and
cultural rights, but forced evictions and employment discrimination are most likely to
require monitoring because they go to the core of the ethnic violence and other grave
violations often facing human rights operations.


A. Introduction

1. Human rights field operations are occasionally given a broad mandate to promote and protect all human rights. Indeed, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has principal responsibility for UN activities to implement all human rights, including “[p]romoting and protecting the effective enjoyment by all of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.” 1

1High Commissioner for the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, G.A. res. 48/141, 48 UN GAOR (No. 49) at
411, UN Doc. A/48/49 (1993).

-349-

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