National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Toward the Institutionalization and Developmentalization of Human Rights

Source Information
August 2006, Volume28(Issue3) Page755To779

The article discusses the importance of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in promoting and protecting economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCRs). Every effort needs to be made by NHRIs to ensure that ESCRs are not neglected by the state. There is need for greater interaction between the NHRIs and state agencies to address the potential violations of ESCRs that the state and nonstate actors may be committing by way of their policies or lack of policies. The article argues that the NHRIs need to operationalize their programs, including the processes relating to investigation of allegations of human rights violations and examination of policies and actions by government agencies, in a manner that takes full account of the implementation of ESCRs. This involves at various levels a fundamental reexamination of the role of NHRIs, particularly when the enabling legislation, constitution of a particular country, the courts, and other legal institutions have not previously supported the notion of NHRIs engaging in the promotion and protection of ESCRs.


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doi: 10.1353/hrq.2006.0035