Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and study of special problems which the




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OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS






Question of the realization in all countries of the economic, social and cultural rights

contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and study of special problems which the

developing countries face in their efforts to achieve these human rights
Commission on Human Rights resolution 2000/9

The Commission on Human Rights,
Guided by the principles relating to economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Recalling its previous resolutions on the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, including resolution 1998/33 of 17 April 1998, in which it decided, inter alia, as part of its efforts to impart a higher visibility to economic, social and cultural rights, to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur whose mandate would focus on the right to education,
Taking note with interest of ongoing new approaches to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, and considering that to ensure the realization of economic, social and cultural rights and the removal of obstacles thereto at all levels, additional approaches should be examined,
I.

1. Notes with interest:


(a) The report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of its resolution 1999/25 of 26 April 1999 (E/CN.4/2000/47), the report submitted to the Economic and Social Council by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993 (E/1999/96), the report of the High Commissioner on the draft optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/CN.4/2000/49), as well as all other relevant reports of the High Commissioner on economic, social and cultural rights and activities of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in that regard;
(b) The unanimous adoption by the International Labour Conference, in June 1999, of International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour;
(c) The work carried out by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the assistance given to States parties in the fulfilment of their obligations through its general comments No. 11 (1999) on plans of action for primary education (art. 14 of the Covenant), No. 12 (1999) on the right to adequate food (art. 11 of the Covenant), and No. 13 (1999) on the right to education (art. 13 of the Covenant);
(d) The work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights of children;
(e) The convening in March 1999 by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of an expert group meeting on practical aspects of the human right to adequate housing, which recommended, inter alia, the appointment of a special rapporteur on housing rights;
(f) Efforts of the High Commissioner within the United Nations Development Group to promote economic, social and cultural rights;
(g) The elaboration of training programmes in the Office of the High Commissioner to develop in-house expertise in incorporating economic, social and cultural rights in technical cooperation projects, and the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights aspects in the Office’s manuals and methodological materials for technical cooperation programmes and field activities;

2. Welcomes ongoing efforts by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly towards a coordinated follow-up to relevant United Nations world conferences and summits, notably the World Food Summit held in Rome in November 1996, the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) held in Istanbul in June 1996, the World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen in March 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September 1995, the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in September 1994 and the World Conference on Education for All, held in Jomtien, Thailand, in March 1990, which should provide a framework for setting goals, outlining new approaches and developing supportive partnerships for the promotion and protection of all human rights, notably economic, social and cultural rights;


3. Reaffirms:
(a) That, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his or her economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his or her civil and political rights;
(b) The inextricable link between full respect for the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the process of development, the central purpose of which is the realization of the potentialities of the human person with the effective participation of all members of society in relevant decision-making processes as agents and beneficiaries of development, as well as with a fair distribution of its benefits;
(c) That all persons in all countries are entitled to the realization of their economic, social and cultural rights, which are indispensable to their dignity and the free development of their personality;
(d) The universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and that promoting and protecting one category of rights should therefore never exempt or excuse States from the promotion and protection of other rights;
(e) The importance of international cooperation for the promotion and protection of all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights;
(f) That the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and particularly economic, social and cultural rights, is a dynamic process and that, as is evident in today’s world, a great deal remains to be accomplished;
4. Calls upon all States:
(a) To give full effect to economic, social and cultural rights;
(b) To consider signing and ratifying, and the States parties to implement, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
(c) To consider ratifying, as soon as possible, and the States parties to fully implement International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 (1999) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour;
(d) To guarantee that economic, social and cultural rights will be exercised without discrimination of any kind;
(e) To secure progressively, through national development policies and with international assistance and cooperation, full realization of economic, social and cultural rights, giving particular attention to the individuals, most often women and children, especially girls, and communities living in extreme poverty and therefore most vulnerable and disadvantaged;
(f) To consider in this context, as appropriate, the desirability of drawing up national action plans identifying steps to improve the situation of human rights in general with specific benchmarks designed to give effect to minimum essential levels of enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights;
(g) To help alleviate the unsustainable external debt burden of countries that meet the criteria of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, which should further strengthen the efforts of the Governments of these countries to realize economic, social and cultural rights, inter alia through the development and implementation of programmes such as the Bolsa-Escola programme in Brazil, as well as the prevention of the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome pandemic in Africa and the reconstruction of countries affected by natural disasters;
(h) To promote the effective and wide participation of representatives of civil society in decision-making processes related to the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights;
5. Calls upon States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
(a) To submit their reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a regular and timely manner;
(b) To promote a concerted national effort to ensure the participation of representatives of all sectors of civil society in the process of preparation of their periodic reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee;
(c) To withdraw reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the Covenant and to consider reviewing other reservations with a view to withdrawing them;
6. Recalls that international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social and cultural character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human

rights and fundamental freedoms for all is one of the purposes of the United Nations and affirms that wider international cooperation would contribute to lasting progress in implementing economic, social and cultural rights;


7. Decides:
(a) To encourage the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to continue its efforts towards the promotion and protection of human rights at the national and international levels and the full realization of specific rights, notably through the drafting of further general comments, thus making the experience gained so far through the examination of States parties’ reports available for the benefit of all States parties in order to assist and promote their further implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
(b) To request the High Commissioner to invite all States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations which have not yet done so to submit their comments on the report by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on a draft optional protocol for the consideration of communications in relation to the Covenant (E/CN.4/1997/105, annex), as well as to invite all States to submit their comments on the options relating to the proposal for a draft optional protocol, contained in her report on the draft optional protocol to the Covenant (E/CN.4/2000/49), or to propose any other option that would be conducive to a substantive dialogue, giving due regard to the respective roles of the Committee and the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights;
(c) To appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur whose mandate will focus on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, as reflected in article 25, paragraph 1, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 11, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and article 27, paragraph 3, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on the right to non-discrimination as reflected in article 14, paragraph 2 (h) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and article 5 (e) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
(d) To request the Special Rapporteur, in the fulfilment of her/his mandate:
(i) To report on the status, throughout the world, of the realization of the rights that are relevant to the mandate, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant instrument, and on developments relating to these rights, including on laws, policies and good practices most beneficial to their enjoyment and difficulties and obstacles encountered domestically and internationally, taking into account information received from Governments, organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, other relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations;
(ii) To promote, as appropriate, cooperation among and assistance to Governments in their efforts to secure these rights;
(iii) To apply a gender perspective in her/his work;
(iv) To develop a regular dialogue and discuss possible areas of collaboration with Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, international organizations in the field of housing rights, inter alia, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions, and to make recommendations on the realization of the rights relevant to the mandate;
(v) To identify possible types and sources of financing for relevant advisory services and technical cooperation;
(vi) To facilitate, where appropriate, the inclusion of issues relating to the mandate in relevant United Nations missions, field presences and national offices;
(vii) To submit to the Commission an annual report covering the activities relating to the mandate;

(e) To request the High Commissioner to provide all the necessary resources for the effective fulfilment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur;


(f) To encourage the High Commissioner to strengthen the research and analytical capacities of her Office in the field of economic, social and cultural rights, and to share her expertise, inter alia through the holding of expert meetings;
(g) To encourage the High Commissioner to continue to ensure better support for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular under the Programme of Action to strengthen the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/1997/22-E/C.12/1996/6, annex VII) adopted by the Committee at its fifteenth session;
(h) To encourage the High Commissioner to continue to provide or to facilitate practical support aimed at building capacities for the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights;
(i) To support the efforts carried out by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to implement the proposed programme of action designed to enhance the ability of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to assist interested Governments in their reporting obligations and its capacity to process and follow up the examination of States parties’ reports and, accordingly, to request States parties to the Covenant to make voluntary financial contributions to ensure the adequate implementation of that Programme of Action;
II.

8. Notes with interest:

(a) The report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education (E/CN.4/ 2000/6 and Add.1 and 2);
(b) The work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in the promotion of the right to education;
(c) The established cooperation between the Special Rapporteur and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Rights of the Child;
(d) The established dialogue with the World Bank to promote the right to education in its strategies;
9. Welcomes:
(a) The focus given by the Special Rapporteur on the right to education to the identification of obstacles to the realization of the right to education at the domestic and international levels, to the mainstreaming of gender and to the legal enforcement of the right to education;
(b) The convening of the World Education Forum in Dakar from 26 to 28 April 2000, which constitutes the follow-up to the World Conference on Education for All, which should provide a framework for setting goals, outlining new approaches and developing supportive partnerships and reaffirm the need for primary education to be universal, compulsory and free of charge;
10. Invites the Special Rapporteur to continue to work in accordance with her mandate and notably to intensify her efforts to identify ways and means to overcome obstacles and difficulties in the realization of the right to education, notably through international cooperation;
11. Calls upon all States:
(a) To give full effect to the right to education;
(b) To guarantee that the right to education will be exercised without discrimination of any kind;
(c) To cooperate with the Special Rapporteur;
12. Decides:
(a) To request the Special Rapporteur on the right to education to submit a report to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session;

(b) To reiterate its request to the High Commissioner to organize in 2001, the year of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a workshop to identify progressive developmental benchmarks and indicators related to the right to education, as set out in paragraph 6 (b) of Commission resolution 1999/25;


(c) To reiterate its invitation to the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to continue to develop a regular dialogue with the Special Rapporteur and to submit to the Commission information pertaining to their activities in promoting primary education, with specific reference to women and children, particularly girls;
13. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur on the right to education with all the assistance necessary for the execution of the mandate;
III.

14. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session a report on the implementation of the present resolution;

15. Recommends the following draft decision to the Economic and Social Council for adoption:
[For the text, draft decision 4.]


52nd meeting

17 April 2000

[Adopted without a vote.]



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