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4 Specifying The Nature Of The Obligations And The Approach For Understanding Economic, Social And Cultural Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

This chapter elaborates the nature of both the rights and obligations recognized by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This is done by presenting and analyzing the content of the Covenant. The chapter explains the level of the obligations more precisely. While all rights impose corresponding rights-specific obligations, the rights must also be understood in relation to the general obligations. The chapter examines the nature of the obligations, as well as two approaches, the ‘progressive realization approach’ and the more recently developed ‘violation approach’, both of which are derived from the Covenant. The first approach implies that the available resources must be taken into account. The second approach is developed as a supplement to the first approach, emphasizing the need for judicial review in the courts in order to determine the compliance with the obligations of the Covenant through legal means.

Keywords: cultural human rights; legaltexts; progressive realization approach; violation approach



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