Publication: Minimum Core Obligations: Human Rights in the Here and Now

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Tasioulas, John
The doctrine of the ‘minimum core’ (MCD) has in recent decades achieved prominence within international human rights law (IHRL) and practice. This enhanced profile is largely attributable to the activities of the United Nation’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (henceforth, ‘the Committee’). As this origin indicates, the MCD has been articulated in relation to the sub-set of human rights, usually denominated as ‘economic, social and cultural rights’, that are set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (henceforth, ‘the Covenant’). In addition, some regional and domestic legal regimes, notably in Africa and South America, have recognized some version of the MCD in relation to constitutional or legal rights. However, this report will almost exclusively concentrate on the nature and value of the MCD as it has developed within international law and practice. This Report proceeds in the following manner: (i) introduction; (ii) In section 2, an account is offered of the formative point of IHRL in general; (iii) In section 3, the concept of minimum core obligations of human rights is explored, i.e. what it is that marks out such obligations among other human rights standards; (iv) Section 4 contends that the main gist of the MCD is given by interpretation; (v) In section 5, it is argued that interpretation (a), standing alone, offers the best account of the MCD; (vi) Section 6 addresses the difficult question of how to determine the content of such obligations; (vii) Section 7 responds to two major challenges confronting the MCD; and (viii) Finally, Section 8 briefly examines how indicators and benchmarks are statistical tools that can help monitor and enhance compliance with minimum core obligations.
Tasioulas, John. 2017. Minimum Core Obligations; Minimum Core Obligations : Human Rights in the Here and Now. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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