As its title suggests, this book offers a framework for thinking about economic, social and cultural rights, which rests on the concept of core obligations: the minimum standards a state must meet to be in compliance with its obligations related to these rights. The introduction sets out the foundation of the concept of core obligations and explains the approach the volume is proposing. Subsequent chapters, written by international experts, examine individual economic, social and cultural rights in light of it: describing their content, delineating core state obligations and identifying representative violations.
Some of the traditional thinking about economic, social and cultural rights does not hold up under this in-depth examination. The book shows that economic, social and cultural rights are full-fledged human rights and not just laudable policy goals; they are not necessarily expensive to implement; they can be monitored and violations identified; and states can be held to account for the relevant human rights obligations they assume.
Core Obligations: Building a Framework for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights contains a great deal of useful information for human rights practitioners, as well as those who work in sustainable development and related fields, who want to know what a rights-based approach to their work would mean. It brings conceptual clarity to the discussion of economic, social and cultural rights, and helps to promote consensus about the most immediate steps states must take—a necessary step along the road to full implementation.
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