Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

By Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

Essentially the most bold legacies of the 20 th century used to be the common dedication to make sure freedom from wish as a human correct. yet to what volume are nations internationally residing as much as this dedication? This direction breaking ebook develops an leading edge, evidence-based index for evaluating functionality on schooling, foodstuff, healthiness, paintings and housing throughout very another way positioned nations and through the years. It explores the standards influencing functionality and gives empirical facts to solve a few lengthy status controversies over the main of "progressive realization". via defying the limits of conventional examine disciplines, this paintings essentially advances our wisdom in regards to the prestige of and elements selling social and fiscal rights achievement on the sunrise of the twenty first century.

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This chapter grounds the obligations of fulfillment and progressive realization in the normative framework of international human rights law and shows how the SERF Index differs from—and complements— other tools and methodological approaches in the evolving field of human rights measurement. The chapter begins by elaborating the principles and standards regarding the nature of state obligations for social and economic rights, particularly with respect to the obligations of fulfillment and progressive realization.

For one thing, women like Fatimata will not have to worry about getting into debt should their pregnancies become complicated and require extra medical care. Should we then consider that Sierra Leone is a good performer because such a proactive policy was adopted? Yet we also find that government expenditure on health is a paltry 1 percent of GDP, half of what is allocated to the military, implying that health receives less priority than defense (O’Donoghue 2010). We need a measure that can go beyond the ad hoc assessment of a single government policy to fully assess a society’s performance.

The index addresses the two essential and previously unresolved issues in the measurement of social and economic rights: (1) how to simultaneously incorporate the perspectives of both the duty bearers and the rights holders and (2) how to set relative standards for progressive realization to the maximum of available resources. Our approach is to assess social and economic rights performance by comparing the level of rights enjoyment achieved against what the country could feasibly achieve given the resources available, based on historical data.

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