Reading Human Rights

ARTICLES & NOTES 

[Domestic, Regional, Global Perspectives]

ON THIS PAGE

COVID-19 &

Human Rights 

Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

Human Rights & Domestic Law

International Human Rights Law

Continue Reading

  • Interim Measures under OP-ICESCR:

    Standards and Practice

    Mallika Ramachandran

    August, 2020

    The paper sheds light on the mechanism of Interim Measures under the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. Interim measures are viewed as  important for the system of international human rights law because they ‘recognize the unique status of individuals as potential targets of state or state-sponsored retaliation or repression...and thereby bring about some sense of ‘equality’ between states and individuals. While looking at pertinent case law, the standards and interpretations made by the Committee under ICESCR are discussed. 

  • Migrants, Rights and the Pandemic

    Rabindra Kr. Pathak

    July/2020

    What we have seen in recent times in the wake of corona pandemic raises many uncomfortable questions and concerns. The widening rift between depravity and prosperity is one such dimension of the new emerging global society that needs reflection and a critical appraisal, more so from the perspective of rights.

    There are certain provisions under the Constitution that are protective of the rights of the migrant workers. Article 39(e) states that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength. Article 43 mandates that the State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life. Article 43-Aprovides that the State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry....

  • The ‘Fundamental’ Status of Economic and Social Rights in the Indian Constitution 

    Mallika Ramachandran

    June/2020

    .Recent decisions of the Supreme Court and High Courts on matters involving economic and social rights demonstrate a trend of interpreting or affirming an expanded interpretation of article 21 so as to ensure a right to life with dignity...

    While the court has at times been criticized for such interpretation, including due lack of consistency, their approach has also been sought to be explained as one of ‘conditional social rights’ that is recognition of rights conditional on government action taken such as existing legislation which has not been adequately implemented.32 However, implementation of the decisions of the court, which is not seen in all decisions concerning economic and social rights (consistently), as well as the need for a fixed set standards of judicial review needs to be addressed in order to improve and strengthen protection of these rights...

  • Rights & Obligations during COVID 19:

    A look at Selected UN Statements, 2020

    Deepa Kansra

    May/2020

    ...In April 2020, the UN Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights & the Committee under ICESCR [International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights] issued general and special statements addressing the challenges being faced by individuals & States in light of the prevailing global health crisis.

     

    The statements highlight the key human rights principles and standards applicable in light of COVID 19. At the same time, developments around the world open up for scrutiny questions on the current status of human rights and responsibilities. Several themes have become critical including the powers of the states to declare emergency, the limitations on human rights derogations, the scope and applicability of rights including right to scientific information, and...

  • Challenges in the Implementation of

    Economic, Social & Cultural Rights:

    CESCR Jurisprudence 

    Mallika Ramachandran

     

    May/2020

     

    Issues such as climate change, corruption, and scarcity of resources can all be seen as challenges or impediments to the realisation of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, and addressing these issues becomes crucial in order to ensure effective realisation of these rights. And in fact, in the course of its work, the issues have been addressed by the CESCR as part of its statements, general comments, as well as concluding observations on state reports, whereby these issues are not only taken into account but recommendations made toward ensuring that their negative impacts can be mitigated.  

    From the statements and concluding observations, it is seen that while resource constraints, claims on a state’s resources, and the economic status of a country are considerations taken into account when assessing a state’s fulfilment of its obligations, and international assistance and cooperation is also encouraged by the CESCR, it emphasizes more on mobilisation of domestic resources, and on maximum spending within existing constraints so as to ensure availability of economic, social and cultural rights. 

  • COVID-19: Time to Invest in the Human Right to Science

    Deepa Kansra

    May/2020

     

    ...In light of the current health crisis, the human right to science can be viewed as one of the most crucial human rights today. The right to science finds its place in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR], the International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights [ICESCR] and regional human rights frameworks. The right has been part of a series of deliberations between UN, states and other stakeholders. Deliberations have mostly been directed towards elaborating upon the relationship between science and human rights and in search of a more concise definition of the right. Despite the attention the right has received, it is still vague in terms of its content and related obligations.

    Under the ICESCR,  the human right to science according to the CESCR is one which parties give least attention to in their reports and dialogues with the Committee. Further, the right to science has been referred to as the least known, discussed, and enforced of the rights recognized in the ICESCR [quote].... 

  • Domestic Law and the Core Obligations under ICESCR:

    Specific Reference to India

    Mallika Ramachandran

     

    May/2020

    International human rights law is often referred to in domestic and regional jurisprudence, either as the country in question is party to a specific instrument or additionally to add weight to the obligations already undertaken in the respective Constitution. This includes provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and guidelines and concepts issued by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) elaborating on the import of provisions or obligations of states parties. One instance is the concept of ‘minimum core’ obligations, set out by the CESCR in its General Comment 3 in 1990, which implies that states are under an obligation to at the very least ensure the satisfaction of minimum essential levels of each right...

  • Impact of COVID 19 on Women:

    UN urges for Stronger

    Public Services

    Ram Dulari Patel

     

    May/2020

    ...The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW Committee), which specifically deals with the women human rights issues, has expressed deep concern about exacerbated inequalities and heightened risks of gender-based violence and discrimination faced by women due to the current COVID-19 crisis. It has called for member states to uphold the rights of women and girls.​

     

    The Committee in its more recent Statements expressed concern about the absence of a gender perspective on global and national policies and initiatives despite clear evidence that state actions and policies affect women and men in a different ways and has a gender-differentiated impact. It has urged all state parties to ensure data is sufficiently aggregated to inform policy making....

Classroom Series: Reading Human Rights/ All Rights Reserved/2020