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Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

226 | PRACTITIONERS

226 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6CHAPTER 5: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL ANDCULTURAL RIGHTS IN MIGRATIONEconomic, social and cultural (ESC) rights are an essential part of thecorpus of international human rights law. They are recognised in theUDHR and guaranteed by the ICESCR as well as other UN human rightstreaties (CERD, CEDAW, CRC, CRPD) and at a regional level by severaltreaties including, but not limited to, the European Social Charter, theAmerican Convention on Human Rights, the Additional Protocol to theAmerican Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Socialand Cultural Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights(ACHPR) and the Arab Charter of Human Rights (ArCHR). They encompassa range of guarantees relating to the right to work, workplace andtrade union rights (addressed in Chapter 6); rights to health, education,social security, and an adequate standard of living including housing,food, water and sanitation; and rights to engage in cultural activities.Some of these rights, or aspects of them, are also protected under civiland political rights instruments such as the ICCPR and the ECHR.As with civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights areuniversally applicable, to citizens and to non-citizens, including all categoriesof migrants. They are subject to principles of non-discriminationon a number of grounds including race, colour, sex, language, religion,political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth orother status. Particular guarantees relating to the ESC rights of childrenare set out in the CRC, as well as relating to the ESC rights of womenin CEDAW. ESC rights provide a framework for considering questionsof migrants’ entitlements to social services in the host State, and theState’s obligation to provide for the basic living needs of migrants who,because of their migration status or for other reasons, are unable towork.I. General Principles1. Duties to Respect, Protect and FulfilAs with all human rights under international human rights law, ESCrights carry legally binding obligations on States to respect, protect andfulfil. The CESCR has adopted and developed this three-tier classificationof State obligations to guarantee the Covenant rights. 886886 See, generally, ICJ, Courts and Legal Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,op. cit., fn. 29, pp. 42–53. See also a complete description in SERAC and CESR v. Nigeria,ACommHPR, op. cit., fn. 29, paras. 44–48; and, CEDAW, General Recommendation No. 24,op. cit., fn. 29, paras. 13–17. See also, Article 6, Maastricht Guidelines, op. cit. fn. 29. Seealso, CMW, General Comment No. 2, op. cit., fn. 2, paras. 60–79.

MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 227The duty to respect requires the State not to intervene unduly in theenjoyment of a particular right. These duties apply to situations suchas: State-organised or sanctioned forced evictions, direct threats tohealth by State actors, interruption of existing levels of medical treatmentprovided by the State, arbitrary termination of employment in thepublic sphere. 887The duty to protect requires the State to prevent third parties fromunduly interfering in the right-holder’s enjoyment of a particular right.Such duties arise, for example, in cases of privately conducted forcedevictions, labour conditions in the private labour market, failure to complywith health or education requirements in the private sphere, discriminationin contracts directed at providing basic services, such ashealth, water, housing or education, and abusive termination or modificationof contracts.The duty to fulfil imposes obligations on a State to, as appropriate, facilitate,provide or promote access to ESC rights. The obligation to fulfilimposes a duty on the State to guarantee a minimum essential level ofeach right to all individuals who cannot, for reasons beyond their control,realise the right without assistance.2. Obligations of immediate effect and progressiverealisationUnder the ICESCR, obligations to respect and, in most instances, toprotect the Covenant rights are of immediate effect. Similarly, non-discriminationand the guarantee of the enjoyment of at least ”minimumessential levels” of the rights 888 are immediate obligations.In addition, States have immediate obligations under Article 2.1 ICESCR“to take steps”, to the maximum of the resources available to theState, to realise the Covenant rights. This obligation is not in itselfqualified or limited by other considerations. Steps towards that goalmust be taken within a reasonably short time after the Covenant’s entryinto force for the States concerned. Such steps should be deliberate,concrete and targeted as clearly as possible towards meeting the obligationsrecognised in the Covenant. 889887 See, endorsement of justiciability of duty to respect in SERAC and CESR v. Nigeria,ACommHPR, op. cit., fn. 29, paras. 45, 54, 61–62, 66.888 See, CESCR, General Comment No. 3, op. cit., fn. 147, paras. 9–10. See also, LimburgPrinciples on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social andCultural Rights, adopted 2 to 6 June 1986, reproduced in UN doc. E/CN.4/1987/17 (LimburgPrinciples); and, Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, focussing on theconcept of “progressive realization” of economic, social and cultural rights, 2007 substantivesession of the UN ECOSOC, UN Doc, E/2007/82, 25 June 2007.889 CESCR, General Comment No. 3, op. cit., fn. 147, para. 2.

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    ISBN 978-92-9037-151-X

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