Economic, social and cultural rights: exploding myths and building consensus

by Lucy McKernan, Geneva Representative of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Beyond matters touching upon religion or belief, or on so-called ‘traditional values,’ it is difficult to think of an issue that divides members of the Human Rights Council (the Council) as much as the perceived disconnect between the importance placed on civil and political rights on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) on the other. Twenty …

Is the UN Human Rights Council delivering on its mandate to mainstream human rights?

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke for the last time to the Commission on Human Rights he emphasised that “the era of declaration is now giving way, as it should, to an era of implementation.” [1] In the past, human rights implementation was often narrowly understood to mean passing a law and securing a favourable judicial decision. Of course, laws and …

Mainstreaming as a tool for strengthening the implementation of human rights commitments

Mainstreaming is a key part of the Council’s mandate as per paragraph 3 of 60/251 and talk about ‘mainstreaming human rights’ and ‘taking a rights-based approach’ is widespread. And yet, there seems to be confusion over what this actually means, and how it is achieved. This project will explain what human rights mainstreaming means in practice –from an institutional perspective …