Socio-Economic and Cultural Rights and Wrongs after Conflicts: Using the State Reporting Procedure Before the UN CESCR More Effectively
Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, September 2013
30 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2013 Last revised: 17 Mar 2014
Date Written: September 3, 2013
Commentators and practitioners increasingly emphasise that redressing violations of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and improving the living conditions of individuals and communities is key in countries emerging from armed conflicts and widespread human rights abuses. Yet, it remains difficult to achieve this objective in practice and it is not obvious how international law can contribute to the enhancement of ESCR in the aftermath of pervasive abuses. This article addresses some of the subject’s conceptual and practical complexities: Based on an analysis of all relevant concluding observations, the article traces the evolution of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ jurisprudence on armed conflict. It then uses this analysis to highlight specific ways in which the reporting procedure before this supervisory body could be used more effectively to address ESCR problems related to armed conflicts, including by forging synergies with transitional justice mechanisms and broader postconflict recovery policies.
Keywords: armed conflict, education, health, impunity, internal displacement, transitional justice, United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, post-conflict justice
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