Conditions needed to live a life of dignity and

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conditions needed to live a life of dignity and freedom, relating to work and workers' rights , social security , health , education , food , water , housing , healthy environment , and culture . Human rights provide a common framework of universally-recognised values and norms, and set out state obligations to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts. They are an important tool to hold states, and increasingly non-state actors, accountable for violations and also to mobilise collective efforts to develop communities and global frameworks conducive to economic justice, social wellbeing, participation, and equality. Human rights are universal, inalienable, interdependent and indivisible. Where are ESCR set out? In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly (link is external) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (link is external) (UDHR), outlining the basic civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights that all human beings should enjoy. In 1966, ESCR were expressed as legal rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (link is external) (ICESCR) (which together with the UDHR and the
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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights form the so-called International Bill of Rights), as well as through other key human rights treaties (link is external) and regional mechanisms. To date, more than 160 states (link is external) have ratified the ICESCR. In addition, many states have articulated their commitment to ESCR through national constitutions and domestic law. What are the key principles associated with ESCR? The ICESCR outlines a number of important principles in the realisation of ESCR, which are often included in other ESCR sources as well. Under the ICESCR, a state must take steps “to the maximum of its available resources” to progressively realise ESCR. In particular, a state (including its subnational levels) has the obligations: to respect ESCR (itself refrain from any violation of ESCR); to protect ESCR (prevent third parties from violating ESCR); to fulfil ESCR (take necessary measures to realise ESCR, including through legislative, administrative, budgetary and other processes); and to seek and provide international assistance and cooperation in the realisation of ESCR. States must guarantee ESCR without discrimination on the basis of grounds specified in the ICESCR, including race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, and birth. In its work, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (link is external) (link is external) (CESCR) has identified additional prohibited grounds for discrimination, including disability, age, nationality,
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marital and family status, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, place of residence, and economic and social situation. The elimination of discrimination, and certain minimum core obligations identified by CESCR in some of its general comments (link is external) , are not subject to progressive realisation but are immediate obligations.
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