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Research Dossier → Assessment of significance of protection of social and economic rights by different actors

14 Feb 2018 16:03

The raising concern in all societies for the realization of economic and social rights has increased the linkage between the human rights and social justice. As the result, the significance of ESR was recognized by many international organizations, governmental institutions, human rights systems such as United Nations. The concern for economic and social and cultural rights has served as a uniting tool against poverty and inequality throughout the world. However, economic and social rights are increasingly being put on the same level of importance as the first generation of rights and practical issues on how to work with those rights have not yet found a clear answer.

         It is generally agreed that Vienna Conference of 1993 marked a significant turning point in global thinking on rights not only because it puts economic, social rights into agenda, but as it also emphasized the indivisibility and interdependence of human rights. Some critics argue that social economic rights that accrue to only some sections of society cannot be universal, and therefore cannot be fundamental. Social and economic rights, it is argued, are not rights; they are merely a desirable state of affairs.

The international network for economic and social rights protection has played a significant role in supporting the dissemination of information on this issue. It establishes the global action that helps to build bridges between different parts of the worlds in use of various approaches. There are numbers of agencies and organizations that defend the rights concerning both groups of rights. They can generally be called as the complex mechanism of the protection of human rights. These mechanisms can be divided into subtypes such as:

-       Bodies that are involved in any violations of human rights that are recognized by international law (e.g. The UN Commission on Human Rights);

-       Agencies and organizations which protect the rights of certain groups in various states (e.g. the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities);

-       Agencies and organizations which are involved in the specific forms of human rights violations (e.g. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination).

Worldwide, the list of international organizations defending social and economic rights includes committees, centers for human right protections, leadership centers, different councils and other types of organizations. Organizations operate through conduction of researches, advocacy projects for the protection against different forms of abuses, securing minimum standards of well-being, which depends on the goal of organization and their mandate.

Intergovernmental human rights organizations differ from others by the impact on governments; their decisions often have binding character and in any case their opinion cannot be ignored; they compel the international community to pay attention to human rights violations. International organizations monitor the fulfillment of the rights, support national enforcement and secure international accountability for economic and social rights violations. In their work, they mainly employ such strategies as consulting, coalition-building and networking with other organizations.

Among the international organizations working in the field of protection of economic rights - the right to work - is the International Labor Organization whose Charter was incorporated in 1919 in the Treaty of Versailles. The main aim of the International Labor Organization according to the preamble of its Statute is to eliminate the conditions that imply need, hardship, injustice that generate dissatisfaction, threatened peace and harmony throughout the world [1]. ILO includes a special system for monitoring of compliance of international labor rights standards which consists of two procedures; the first is based on a systematic review of regular reports of the governments [1] and the second is based on the different types of complaints (articles 22 and 24 respectively) [1].

The next international confederation which focuses its work in the areas of struggle with poverty and injustice is OXFAM International. It generates from Oxford Committee for Famine Relief created in 1942 in Great Britain [2]. Focusing on the combating the poverty, it protects right to food, right to work, right to housing and some other rights related with them.

One of the organizations which concentrate specifically on a particular right is FIAN International. It is aimed to raise the awareness of international community to violations of the right to food. One of the distinguishing methods differing FIAN International from methods used by other organizations, is the responding the victim groups’ requests whose rights to food are being violated and providing with the support [3].

A lot of international organizations in order to increase the effectiveness of their work unite into special networks, among which the most well-know are: Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Food Information and Action Network (FIAN), International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and Human Rights Council of Australia (HRCA). For instance, International ESC Rights Network was the project, founded in 2000, the function of which was the spread and exchange of ideas on the topics of ESC rights advocacy, practices used by key human right organizations with the purpose of establishment of the common value of ESC rights [4].

Among the organizations of narrow profile it should be determined, e.g. the World Health Organization (hereinafter- WHO) and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (hereinafter – UNAIDS). The World Health Organization is main directing organization for the health care within the system of the United Nation. Its responsibilities include

providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends [5].

The UNAIDS is focused on the problems of quick acting and full coordinating of the actions directed on fighting against spreading of HIV/AIDS epidemic. In practice they are working on prevention spreading the HIV, supporting and taking care of people that live with the virus.

The work of these two organizations will be used in the next chapter, for analysis of protection of the people infected with HIV/AIDS as a part of right to health with regards to the fact that problems of HIV/AIDS went far beyond from problems of a purely medical nature. Nowadays people with HIV/AIDS face with discrimination on all levels, especially at work or being deprived of family life. The efforts made by different governmental and non-governmental actors served as the reason of raising the averseness of economic and social rights compliance on the global level. Especially, it concerns problems of HIV/AIDS, which were previously included only as problems having medical nature. But with the help of these organizations such problems were raised to the level of well-being of people as the basic right, which must be available to everybody. 


Список використаних джерел:

1.    International Labour Organization (ILO), Constitution of the International Labour Organization (ILO), (1 April 1919). – [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/leg/download/constitution.pdf.

2.    Oxfam International official website. History of Oxfam International. – [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/history.

3.    FIAN International official website, The human right to food.  – [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.fian.org/what-we-do/advocacy/.

4.    International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights official website, The Creation of ESCR-Net. – [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.escr-net.org/cat/i/1313.

5.    World Health Organization (WHO) official website About World Health Organization(WHO). – [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.who.int/about/en/.