The Minimum Core Obligations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: The Rights to Health and Education

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

This paper addresses the definitional lacunae around the doctrine of 'minimum core obligations' embedded in the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This paper develops existing knowledge on MCOs attached to economic and social rights (ESCR) and suggests ways in which the MCOs doctrine has relevance for development policy and practice.

Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), such as the right to education and the right to health, comprise one of the two principal pillars of the UN human rights framework—the other pillar of which is constituted of civil and political rights (CPR); together with the UDHR, these two groups of rights comprise
the “international bill of rights”. ESCR also overlap substantially with development activities, in that they share significant subject matter coverage. Put differently, development activities now occupy many areas governed
by ESCR. ESCR are also central to conflicts over resource allocation which increasingly arise in both developed and developing countries as a result of crises stemming from climate change, violent conflict and war and displacement. In such resource constrained contexts, ESCR, and MCD in particular, provide a potential means to prioritise resource allocation through the identification of MCOs.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWashington, D.C.
PublisherThe World Bank
Commissioning bodyThe Nordic Trust Fund
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • ESC rights human rights economic social cultural rights


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