CLEARING THE HURDLES
A THERAPEUTIC EXAMINATION OF THE CHALLENGES TO THE PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Experience shows that in practice, most member-States of the UN and signatories to the ICESCR treat ESC rights as inferior step-cousins of their civil and political counterparts, resulting in the second-class treatment of the former by member-States. States therefore, often fail in their treaty obligation to effectively protect and enforce these rights, canvassing a
plethora of seemingly plausible arguments to justify their failure. This article critically discusses some of the obstacles militating against the effective protection and enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights with a view to proffering solutions to them. It also proposes to debunk the conventional arguments canvassed by States and some human rights scholars against the full protection and enforcement of these
rights. The article posits that civil and political rights are better enjoyed in an atmosphere of full protection and enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights. Any negative treatment of ESC rights impacts on the civil and political rights as the level and quality of enjoyment of the latter is a dependent variable of the level and quality of enforcement of the former.