Human rights for human dignity : a primer on economic, social and cultural rights
This human rights primer outlines key features of economic, social and cultural rights. It highlight not only the obligations of governments with in their own countries but also their international obligations. Across the world, 842 million people are undernourished and do not have sufficient food to eat.2 Each year nearly 6.6 million children die before they reach the age of five.3 Sixty-one million children (more than half of them girls) have no access to education, even at primary level.4 The number of people living in slums worldwide continues to grow and based on the current rate, the total population in slums is expected to reach 889 million in 2020.5 This is not just an unfortunate reality of life. It is a human rights scandal of shocking proportions. There is therefore a responsibility to respond – a responsibility rooted not only in the demands of human decency, but also in legally binding international human rights obligations. Gross economic and social inequality is an enduring reality in countries of all political colours, and all levels of development. In the midst of plenty, many are still unable to access even minimum levels of food, water, sanitation, education, health care and housing. This is the result not only of a lack of resources, but also of unwillingness, negligence and discrimination by governments and others. Many groups are specifically targeted because of who they are; those on the margins of society are often overlooked altogether.
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