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

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

234 | PRACTITIONERS

234 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6a recently agreed Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, which allowsfor individual complaints to the Committee on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights, will, when entered into force, providea universal international mechanism for adjudication onESC Rights (see, Annex 2).a) Means of judicial enforcementA number of national courts, as well as international bodies and expertshave developed jurisprudence which may clarify the content and definestandards facilitating the legal enforcement of ESC rights. Principlesdeveloped in this jurisprudence include the following:• The question as to whether a State has discriminated againstcertain individuals and groups, has failed to respect and protectESC rights or has taken retrogressive measures in relation to therights (see, above, Section 3) are subject to adjudication by nationalcourts as immediate and/or negative obligations. 924• Even for aspects of rights that are subject to progressive realisation,courts can judicially review compliance with them based onprinciples of reasonableness, proportionality and necessity. 925• A number of national legal systems will judicially enforce ESC rightswithin the scope of the “minimum core content”. 926 “Minimumcore” refers to the absolute minimum essential level of each rightwithout which the right would be meaningless. 927 The CESCR hasestablished that “a State Party in which any significant number of924 See, for example, Belgian Court of Arbitration, Case No. 5/2004, January 14, 2004 and PortugalConstitutional Tribunal, Decision No. 39/84, April 11, 1984.925 See, Article 4 ICESCR, and CESCR, Statement: An Evaluation of the Obligation to TakeSteps to the “Maximum of Available Resources” under an Optional Protocol to the Covenant,UN Doc. E/C.12/2007/1, 10 May 2007, para. 8. See also, ICJ, Courts and Legal Enforcementof Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, op. cit., fn. 29, at pp. 33–36.926 See, German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) and German Federal AdministrativeCourt (BVerwG): BVerfGE 1,97 (104f); BVerwGE 1,159 (161); BVerwGE 25, 23 (27); BVerf-GE 40, 121 (133, 134); BVerfGE 45, 187 (229); BVerfGE 82, 60 (85) and BVerfGE 99,246 (259). Swiss Federal Court, V. v. Einwohnergemeinde X und Regierungsrat des KantonBern, BGE/ATF 121I 367, 27 October 1995. Brasilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo TribunalFederal), RE 436996/SP (opinion written by Judge Calso de Mello), 26 October 2005.Argentine Supreme Court, Reynoso, Nida Noemi c/INSSJP s/amparo, 16 May 2006 (majorityvote agreeing with Attorney General’s brief). See, for more explication on this point, ICJ,Courts and Legal Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, op. cit., fn. 29.927 See, CESCR, General Comment No. 14, op. cit., fn. 37, para. 47 (on right to health). Seealso, Article 9, Maastricht Guidelines, op. cit., fn. 29. This notion of minimum core seems reflectedin the obligation “to respect the basic human rights of all migrant workers”, enshrinedin Article 1 of the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention (C143), ILO,adopted on 24 June 1975. Despite the low ratification of this Convention, such an approachwould make applicable this provision also to State non-Parties.

MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 235individuals is deprived of essential foodstuffs, of essential primaryhealth care, of basic shelter and housing, or of the most basicforms of education is, prima facie, failing to discharge its obligationsunder the Covenant.” 928 In order to avoid a violation theState “must demonstrate that every effort has been made to useall resources that are at its disposition in an effort to satisfy, asa matter of priority, those minimum obligations”. 929 An exampleof “minimum core content” has been provided by the ExecutiveCommittee of the UNHCR, which found under the Geneva RefugeeConvention, a right of asylum-seekers, even in situations of largescaleinflux, to “receive all necessary assistance and be providedwith the basic necessities of life including food, shelter and basicsanitary and health facilities”. 930• In a number of national legal systems, courts often rely on abroad interpretation of civil and political rights, such as the rightto life, to develop protection against the most serious violationsof ESC rights. 931 The Inter-American Court has determined thatthe right to life includes a “right not to be prevented from accessto conditions that may guarantee a decent life, which entails theadoption of measures to prevent the breach of such right”. 932 Thisentails a duty to respect and protect on the State. 933 The Courthas recognised obligations to take positive, concrete measuresto fulfil the right to a decent life, as part of the right to life, 934 asalso guaranteed by Article 11 ICESCR. 935 The European Court of928 CESCR, General Comment No. 3, op. cit., fn. 147, para. 10.929 Ibid., para. 10.930 Conclusion No. 22, UNHCR, op. cit., fn. 151, para. II(B)(2)(c). See also, for refugee women,Conclusion No. 64 (XLI) on Refugee Women and International Protection, ExCom, UNHCR,41 st session, 1990, para. (a)(ix). The minimum core for refugee children and adolescentis higher, due to the link with the general principle of the “best interest of the child”. TheUNHCR ExCom has found within the minimum core for children the right to education, adequatefood, and the highest attainable standard of health. See, Conclusion No. 84 (UNHCR,op. cit., fn. 214, para. (a)(iii).931 See, ICJ, Courts and Legal Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, op. cit.,fn. 29, Chapter 4, at pp. 65–72.932 Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, IACtHR, Series C No. 146, Judgment of29 March 2006, para. 153. See also, “Street Children” (Villagran-Morales et al.) v. Guatemala,IACtHR, Series C No. 63, Judgment of 19 November 1999 (Street Children Case), paras.144 and 191; Yakye Axa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, IACtHR, Series C No. 125,Judgment of 17 June 2005, paras. 161–163.933 Street Children Case, IACtHR, op. cit., fn. 932, para. 144.934 Yakye Axa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, IACtHR, op. cit., fn. 932, para. 162.935 See, Article 11 ICESCR and Article 27(2) CRC. See also, CRC, General Comment No. 6,op. cit., fn. 138, para. 44; Concluding Observations on Japan, CERD, Report of the Committeeon Elimination of Racial Discrimination to the General Assembly, 56 th Session, UN Doc.A/56/18 (2001), p. 35, para. 177; Concluding Observations on Gambia, CRC, Report ofthe Committee on the Rights of the Child on its 28 th Session, UN Doc, CRC/C/111 (2001),28 September 2001, para. 450.

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    ISBN 978-92-9037-151-X

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