Beyond Civil Rights
With the implementation of the Human Rights Act in October 2000, civil and political rights are for the first time directly enforceable in UK law. While welcoming this significant advance, the authors of this text argue for further legislation, extending protection to economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights, such as the right to education, to health care and to a decent standard of living. Poverty and social exclusion are presented as a denial of human rights and ESC entitlements as an essential foundation of citizenship. The report considers the nature of ESC rights and their historical development, examines the international and European framework for promoting and protecting them and considers how well the UK currently complies with the requirements of international human-rights treaties. The authors respond to objections that ESC rights are non-justifiable, that they distort democracy and that they undermine the current government's emphasis on responsibilities rather than rights. They end with recommendations suggesting how non-government organizations might act to promote ESC rights on behalf of impoverished sectors of society.
|Oxfam and JUSTICE|
|Abbreviations and acronyms|
|2. The nature of ESC rights and the historical development of human rights|
|3. The UK government’s approach to ESC rights|
|4. The European framework for promoting and protecting ESC rights|
|5. The international framework for promoting and protecting ESC rights|
|6. Developing NGO advocacy on ESC rights: recommendations|
|Appendix: procedures and addresses for UN and ILO mechanisms|
Since 1996 Sandy Ruxton has undertaken freelance policy and research. Organizations for whom she has worked include NSPCC, Oxfam, Age Concern, The Institute for Public Policy Research, European Women's Lobby, UNHCR, Separated Children in Europe Programme, and Cirque du Soleil.
Razia Karim is a human rights lawyer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
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