Economic, social and cultural rights, along with liberties and freedoms, form the very bedrock of human development. Rights and Humanity has taken a lead role in advocating that all human rights are indivisible. Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international legal covenants include economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.
As a result of the Cold War, a split had emerged in the international community between Western countries (which gave priority to civil and political freedoms) and the countries of the Communist Bloc (which focused on economic and social rights such as the rights to healthcare, education, housing, food, work and equal pay).
This schism in ideology brought politicisation into the human rights arena, compromising objectivity. It also weakened development efforts by making it extremely difficult to raise the issue of economic, social and cultural rights in the context of international development cooperation outside that provided by the communist bloc.
At every opportunity Rights and Humanity has stressed the vital importance of this concept and demonstrated in our advocacy and community projects how all human rights are inter-connected. People living in extreme poverty –a denial of their economic rights – are impeded in enjoying their civil right to vote.