10. Is it not sufficient to refrain from committing human rights violations?

Servicenavigation

You are here: Topics > Development > Frequently Asked Questions >  10. Is it not sufficient to refrain from committing human rights violations?

Is it not sufficient to refrain from committing human rights violations?

No. Avoiding human rights violations is crucial for the protection of human rights, but human rights do not only have to be respected but also protected and fulfilled.

What this tripartite obligation “to respect, protect and fulfil human rights” means is illustrated with respect to the right to work:

Obligation to respect: The state has to introduce appropriate measures to assure that third parties such as private enterprises also guarantee access to decent work and training without discrimination. Workers’ rights are not to be undermined by privatisation, and a transition to a more flexible labour may not reduce the social protection of workers.

Obligation to protect: The state has to introduce appropriate measures to assure that third parties such as private enterprises also guarantee access to decent work and training without discrimination. Workers’ rights are not to be undermined by privatisation, and a transition to a more flexible labour market may not reduce the social protection of workers. […]

Obligation to fulfil: The state has to recognise the right to work in the national legal system and to adopt a national policy on the right to work as well as a detailed plan for its realisation. These include also measures to fight unemployment and a labour policy that stimulates economic growth and development, raises the population’s level of living and overcomes un- and underemployment. Compensatory mechanisms are to be created for the event of loss of employment. The unemployment rate is to be measured and observed by the state. […] the unemployment rate is to be measured and observed by the state

Source: Abridged from UN / Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2006): General Comment No 18 on the Right to Work.