These guidelines are designed to be of use to all who are concerned with understanding and determining violations of economic, social and cultural rights and in providing remedies thereto, in particular monitoring and adjudicating bodies at the national, regional and international levels.

A group of distinguished experts in international law, convened by the International Commission of Jurists, the Faculty of Law of the University of Limburg (Maastricht, the Netherlands) and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights (University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), met in Maastricht from 2 to 6 June 1986 to consider the nature and scope of the obligations of States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the considered of States parties' reports by the newly constituted Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international cooperation under Part IV of the Covenant.

The participants unanimously agreed on what have become known as the Limburg Principles, which they believe reflect the present state of international law. At a meeting on the tenth anniversary of the Limburg Principles, a similar group of experts agreed on the Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

An animated video created by ESCR-Net to promote the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The video, which is three minutes long, is about a twelve-year-old girl named Lucy who has to fight for her right to education when her school is closed due to a lack of public funds. Ultimately, Lucy proves that access to justice is key to the full enjoyment of human rights.

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The Joint Expert Group UNESCO (CR)/ECOSOC (CESCR) on Monitoring of the Right to Education in its Second Meeting in May 2004 stated that both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (CADE) needed to be carefully examined in a comparative perspective. This should be guided by the General Comments and the Revised Guidelines of CESCR used for monitoring work and the new guidelines for monitoring the implementation of CADE. The Joint Expert Group noted that 83 States are parties to both the CADE and the ICESCR. There is thus the risk of overlaps in the work of the Committees (CESCR and CR) as well as of the States parties’ reports. It was therefore suggested that a document, “which brings out the common features as well as differences in CADE and ICESCR along with a chart of equivalent provisions and the States which are parties to both CADE and ICESCR” be prepared. The present document on the comparative analysis of Articles 13 and 14 of the Covenant and the Convention has accordingly been elaborated.

"In our globalized world, education and the fight against discrimination remains a major issue. Thus discriminatory practices still exist today despite the fact that discrimination has no justification in international law.

Faced with this challenge, not only is education required to play an important role in the fight against discrimination, but access to all levels of education must be ensured systematically and without discrimination. This is one of the major issues involved in the right to education."

Parallel Report submitted by the National Campaign for Education-Nepal, the Nepal National Teachers Association (NNTA), the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and other partners, including the Right to Education Project, on the occasion of the examination of the report of Nepal during the 72nd session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. 

The report shows that the growth of unregulated private education in Nepal supported by the State, is creating and entrenching segregation in education, threatens access to education for girls and children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and is a cause of discrimination with regards to access to quality education. As pointed out recently by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), such segregation in itself constitutes a human rights violation and must be ended.2 Segregation is also the source of other human rights abuses, including discrimination on the grounds of socio-economic background, gender and caste, a limitation on the right to free quality education, and the lowering of education quality. This situation is extremely problematic because of the injustices it generates which threaten the fragile social cohesion and peace that exist in Nepal. If the situation remains the same, experience shows that the education system is bound to generate instability and protests in an already unstable country that is slowly trying to recover from conflict and humanitarian disaster.

The adoption of the OP-ICESCR is only a beginning and that the real challenges lay ahead. 

This Commentary is intended to benefit claimants and their advocates and to provide a broader resource for states and the Committee – providing a deeper jurisprudential base on the range of issues likely to be raised. In so doing, the Commentary charts in effect both the legal opportunities but also the limitations.

This guide, issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), focuses on how civil society can follow up on recommendations of United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms and mandates or bodies.

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