Legal Service India.com  
law articles

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
Indian Footprints at the International Level

click here for LIVE help-desk
Chat with us  (2 PM - 9 PM IST)


Jhuma Sen - 5th Year BBA.LLB

  Search On:Laws in IndiaLawyers Search

Introduction
Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) include the human right to work; the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing, and housing; the right to physical and mental health; the right to social security; the right to a healthy environment; and the right to education.

Need for protection of ESCR:--
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are an important part of the international human rights law. They have been fully recognized by the international community and throughout international human rights law.

Although these rights have received less attention than civil and political rights, far more serious consideration than ever before is currently being devoted to them. The question is not whether these rights are basic human rights, but rather what entitlements they imply and the legal nature of the obligations of States to realize them. The fact is that civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible and interdependent. Without realizing economic, social and cultural rights, there cannot be a meaningful enjoyment of civil and political rights.

Key International Instruments on ESCR and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR):--
Various international instruments recognize economic, social and cultural rights as integral parts of the human rights framework. The first comprehensive international instrument encompassing both sets of rights i.e., civil and political rights and the economic, social and cultural rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) remains the principal instrument on economic, social and cultural rights. It recognizes the right to self determination;

equality for men and women; the right to work and favourable conditions of work; the right to form and join trade unions; the right to an adequate standard of living including adequate food, clothing and housing; the right to health and healthcare; the protection of the family; and the right to social security. As of November 2005, 149 countries have ratified the Covenant.

Other key international instruments include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979 (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (CRC), Limburg Principles and the Maastricht Guidelines, Vienna World Conference on Human Rights Declaration and Plan of Action and Conventions of the International Labour Organization.

General Principles of ESCR and State Obligations to Promote, Protect and Fulfill:--
State parties are bound to ensure minimum human rights regardless of their resource constraints. For ESC rights, minimum core requirements include available foodstuffs for the population, essential primary healthcare, basic shelter and housing, and the most basic form of education. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights elaborated on state obligations under General Comment 3: The Nature of State Parties Obligations

How do states fulfill their minimum requirements?
Respect- the obligation to respect requires governments to refrain from interfering directly or indirectly with the enjoyment of ESCR

Protect- the obligation to protect requires governments to prevent third parties such as corporations, from interfering in any way with the enjoyment of ESCR

Fulfill- the obligation to fulfill requires governments to adopt the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of ESCR.

The Indian Context:--
The Indian Constitution recognizes economic, social and cultural rights as ?Directive Principles of State Policy? which, unlike the guarantee of civil and political rights in the Indian Constitution, are not directly enforceable in the courts, but are intended to serve as guidance for government policy. The Indian law of economic, social and cultural rights has been developed incrementally by the courts, drawing on the Directive Principles as aids to interpretation of the civil and political rights which are justiciable under the Constitution, to elevate the status of the Directive Principles as constitutional rights. In particular, the Indian Supreme Court has adopted an expansive interpretation of the constitutional right to life, based on principles of human dignity, to protect certain economic and social rights, including the right to adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter, the right to medical facilities, the right to earn a livelihood, and environmental rights.

In the Olga Tellis case, the right to livelihood meant that there was an obligation on the state to afford procedural fair hearing rights to a group of pavement dwellers whose livelihoods were threatened by their eviction. Beyond procedural rights, the Supreme Court has held in Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Sabha v. State of West Bengal that the State's obligations to protect economic and social rights may include obligations to provide additional resources, for example to ensure essential healthcare services.

Similarly, the right to life and personal liberty, in Article 21 of the Constitution, has also been applied by the Supreme Court, in conjunction with Directive Principles relating to education, health, and conditions of employment, to address the working conditions of child labourers in the carpet industry.

Thus, ESC rights are no less important than fundamental rights in the constitutional scheme. It need hardly be added that the duty cast on the State under Articles 47 and 48-A in particular of Part IV of the Constitution is to be read as conferring a corresponding right on the citizens and therefore, the right under Article 21 at least must be read to include the same within its ambit. The ESC rights that the DPSP symbolize can demonstrably be read as forming part of an enforceable regime of fundamental rights. Therefore it is crucial for the State to implement this constitutional mandate. The State has to be constantly reminded of its obligations and duties. This is the Indian Experience.

lawyers More Articles:
Right To Food As A Human Right
Right To Employment Of Disables
Democracy And The Law
Occupational Health Laws in India

We offer Copyright Registration Services
Right from your Desktop
.....

Divorce Advice - Legal Advice Ask Our legal Experts, on issues related to Divorce Click Here

Find A lawyer: Delhi - Kolkata - Mumbai - Chennai - Bangalore - Hyderabad - Allahabad - Pune - Ahmedabad - Nagpur -
Cochin
- Chandigarh - Gurgaon - Jaipur - Ludhiana

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: senjhuma1984@legalserviceindia.com / Law Print This Article

Legal Service India

Arbitration
Cyber Law
Copyright
Protect your website
Trademarks
Passport
Income-Tax
Contract laws
Criminal laws
Lok Adalat, legal Aid & PIL
Supreme Court Judgments
Legal Latin maxims
Famous Trials

Download law Forms
Famous - Quotes
Medico Legal
Divorce law
Family law
Patent Forms
Wills
law ibrary
Law Articles
Legal Resources
Cheque bounce laws
Law Blog
legal Discussion Forum
Osama Bin Laden
Stamp Duty Calculator
Link-Exchange
Bare - Acts
Constitutional Law
Immigration Law

Company Law
Partnership firms
Woman issues
Consumer laws
Cause Lists
High Courts in India
legal Profession
Law Forum
Web-Search
Blogs

Ad page
Sitemap

RSS Feed

Lawyers in India - Search by City

legal Service India

lawyers in Delhi - New Delhi
lawyers in Chennai
lawyers in Chandigarh
lawyers in Surat
lawyers in Nashik
lawyers in Janjgir
lawyers in Indore
lawyers in Allahabad
lawyers in Agra
lawyers in Ahmedabad
lawyers in Jodhpur
Lawyers in Noida & Gr Noida
Lawyers in New York
Lawyers India

lawyers in Kolkata
lawyers in Mumbai
lawyers in Bangalore
lawyers in Pune
lawyers in Hyderabad
lawyers in Rajkot
lawyers in Nagpur
lawyers in Pondicherry
lawyers in Jaipur
lawyers in Cochin
lawyers in Lucknow
International Courts
Law Colleges
Law Debates

Home | About Us | Privacy | Terms of use | F A Q | Divorce by mutual consent | Lawyers | Submit article | Sitemap | Contact Us

Legal Service India.com is Copyrighted under the Registrar of Copyright Act ( Govt of India) 2000-2013
ISBN No: 978-93-82417-01-9