ICESCR concluding observations 2016, paragraph 19
Plain English recommendation
Use all available resources to make economic, social and cultural rights a reality for everyone.
In line with UN advice on economic, social and cultural rights during economic and financial crises, government should review austerity policies introduced since 2010 and assess their impacts on people’s rights (in particular on women, children and disabled people). Austerity measures must be temporary, necessary, proportionate and fair. They must not disproportionately affect the rights of disadvantaged people. Such measures must also guarantee that everyone can enjoy minimum levels of each right.
Original UN recommendation
The Committee reminds the State party of its obligations under the Covenant to use the maximum of its available resources with a view to progressively achieving the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to the recommendations contained in its open letter of 16 May 2012 to States parties on economic, social and cultural rights in the context of the economic and financial crisis, with regard to the criteria for austerity measures. Such measures must be temporary, necessary, proportionate and not discriminatory, must not disproportionately affect the rights of disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups and respect the core content of rights. In that context, the Committee recommends that the State party review its policies and programmes introduced since 2010 and conduct a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative impact of these measures on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups, in particular women, children and persons with disabilities, that is recognized by all stakeholders.
Date of UN examination
UN article number
2 (implementation of the Convention), 11 (adequate standard of living)