The Intersection of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights
Eibe Riedel, Gilles Giacca, and Christophe Golay (eds), Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 448-472
13 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2014
Date Written: 2014
Drawing on the concept of intersectionality rooted in gender studies, the chapter examines the various interactions of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights, on one hand, and civil and political (CP) rights, on the other. It explores instances at the normative-theoretical level, in litigation and monitoring practice, where protection of one ‘category’ of rights is sought by appeal to the other. The chapter traces the advent of the paradigm of the ‘categories/generations of rights’ to the Cold War period and the role of the interdependence principle, arguably an intersectional device, in managing the formal separation of human rights into two distinct Covenants. While acknowledging the progress of the past two decades in re-positioning ESC rights on the same value plane as CP rights, the analysis argues for the continued utility of intersectionality as a tool for advancing not only ESC rights, but also CP rights. At the same time, the examination reveals situations in which the rights regime is weakened because of an over-reliance on intersectional litigation strategies, given the impossibility or unwillingness to directly adjudicate ESC rights.
Keywords: economic, social and cultural rights, ESCR, civil and political rights, CPR, human rights, intersection, intersectionality, jurisprudence, monitoring, generations of rights, Cold War, interdependence, adjudication, weakening of rights, ICCPR, ICESCR
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