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International scientific and practical law journal Eurasian Journal of International Law

Права человека в евразийском пространстве

Тиллабаев М.А., Хамдамова Ф.У.

Экстерриториальные обязательства государств в рамках международного права прав человека в контексте международного сотрудничества в целях развития

Цель: Исследование экстерриториальных обязательств государств в области международного права прав человека, их характеристики и основных тенденций их развития.

Методология: Формально-юридический и сравнительно-правовой анализ соответствующих международных документов и правовой доктрины.

Результаты: В статье дается подробный анализ юридической природы и объема экстерриториальных обязательств государств в области прав человека. С этой целью исследованию подвергнуты соответствующие положения МПЭСКП, КПР, КПИ, а также источники «мягкого права», в частности, Маастрихтские принципы и Лимбургские принципы. Международное право прав человека предусматривает, что государства должны обеспечивать имплементацию прав человека не только в пределах своей территориии, но также и за её пределами. Соответствующие положения подчеркивают, что без международного содействия «полная реализация прав человека останется неосуществимым стремлением во многих странах». Если быть точнее, обязательство международного сотрудничества, в частности, сотрудничество в целях развития, предполагает, с одной стороны, обязательство развитых государств оказывать содействие, с другой стороны, обязательство развивающихся стран искать и принимать содействие и помощь. Сотрудничество в целях развития – это составная часть международного сотрудничества, и экстерриториальные обязательства государств – это часть обязательств в рамках сотрудничества в целях развития. Анализ различных точек зрения показывает, что экстерриториальные обязательства государств не только подразумеваются документами по правам человека, но прямо закреплены в международных документах, имеющих обязательную юридическую силу, таких как Устав ООН и Декларация о принципах дружественных отношений и сотрудничества между государствами.

Новизна/оригинальность/ценность: Статья имеет высокую научную ценность, поскольку содержит авторские обобщения и выводы, важные для понимания системы и содержания экстерриториальных обязательств государств в рамках международного права прав человека.

Ключевые слова: экстерриториальные обязательства, права человека, содействие развитию, замечания общего порядка, договорные органы ООН.

Tillabayev M.A., Hamdamova F.U.

Extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law in the context of international development cooperation

Purpose: Research of the extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law, their characteristic and the main tendencies of their development.

Methodology: Formally legal and comparative analysis of the relevant international human rights documents and legal doctrine.

Results: The article provides detailed analysis of nature and scope of extraterritorial human rights obligations of states. To this end, it refers to the relevant provisions of the International Covenant on Economical, social and cultural rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the rights of person with disabilities as well as soft law sources such as Maastricht Principles and Limburg Principles. International human rights law implies that states shall provide implementation of human rights not only within their own territory but also outside their territory. It is emphasized that without international assistance «the full realization of human rights will remain unfulfilled aspiration in many countries. It means states have extraterritorial obligations under human rights law. To be more precise, the obligation of international cooperation, in particular, development cooperation, implies, on the one hand, the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing states, on the other hand, the obligation of developing states to seek and to accept assistance suggested. To conclude, International development cooperation is a part of international cooperation and extraterritorial obligations are a part of obligations within international development cooperation. Analysis of different views with regard to the issue and provides that extraterritorial human rights obligations are not only implied by human rights documents but directly derived from legally binding international documents such as UN Charter and the Declaration on principles of friendly relations and cooperation among states.

Novelty/originality/value: Article has the high scientific value as contains author’s generalizations and conclusions, important systems for understanding and the content of the extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law.

Keywords: extraterritorial obligations, international cooperation and assistance, obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, lack of resources, Maastricht Principles, Limburg principles, the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing states.

States are obliged to take a wide range of measures to implement human rights. However, very often they are unable to provide effective implementation for a number of reasons. One of them is a lack of resource. Given that international human rights law provides that states shall take steps through international cooperation.

In particular, Article 2.1. of the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is one of the most important articles, which provides the progressive realization of ESCR to the maximum available resources and through international cooperation. In addition, a number of its provisions directly refer to international cooperation and assistance. The Committee on ESCR (CESCR) persistently encourages them to give assistance to developing states. It emphasizes that without international assistance «the full realization of human rights will remain unfulfilled aspiration in many countries».

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), in particular article 4, and the Convention on the rights of person with disabilities (CRPD) contains similar provisions, in particular, articles 4 and 32. They obligate states to undertake measures to implement human rights «where needed, within the framework of international cooperation». Two Optional Protocols to the CRC also contain similar provisions with respect to international cooperation.

According to the interpretation of these provisions provided by the relevant UN human rights treaty bodies States «in a position to assist» shall provide assistance to developing countries to eliminate poverty. Moreover, the Committee notes that in some cases the developed states are not only responsible but shall be interested in giving assistance to the poorer states. For instance, if it relates to the field of health care, especially in the times of emergency.

Given that it may be concluded that international human rights law implies that states shall provide implementation of human rights not only within their own territory but also outside their territory. It means they have extraterritorial obligations under human rights law.

It is also confirmed by the Human Rights Committee (HRC). Unlike the treaties mentioned above the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) does not contain provisions with respect to international cooperation. However, article 2, para 1 provides that a State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals not only within its territory but also subject to its jurisdiction the rights set forth in the Covenant. The General Comment No. 31 also states the following:

…a State party must respect and ensure the rights laid down in the Covenant to anyone within the power or effective control of that State Party, even if not situated within the territory of the State Party.

Although the provisions mentioned above imply extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law, the nature and the scope of extraterritorial obligations cause much debates. There is disagreement among states as well as scholars with regard to the issue. Further, a different views of opinions related to the issue will be considered.

The nature of extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law

The extraterritorial obligations of states under international human rights law are derived from a number of international human rights treaties, in particular, from their provisions related to international cooperation. As mentioned above, the ICESCR, CRC, CRDP contain the relevant provisions. The ICCPR also implies extraterritorial obligations. Thus, international cooperation and assistance is an obligation derived from international law [3] including legally binding international treaties mentioned above.

This obligation is also derived from UN Charter. One of the purposes of the UN proclaimed in its Charter is «international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social , cultural and humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion» (article 1, para 3). In this respect, the Declaration on principles of friendly relations and cooperation among states reaffirms that «States should co-operate in the economic, social and cultural fields» and for the «promotion of economic growth throughout the world, especially that of the developing countries». Thus, international cooperation is not only one of purposes of the UN, but also one of the generally recognized principles of international law.

The importance of international cooperation is stressed in a number of soft law sources as well. Soft law reaffirms the importance of international cooperation and assistance and provide a more comprehensive interpretation of these obligations. In particular, the Declaration on the right to development 1986, the preamble of which states that the promotion of human rights directly depends on the international economic order. The Vienna declaration and Programme of actions which states that «substantial progress in human rights endeavours international cooperation» (para 10). The UN Millennium Declaration also proclaims international cooperation as «one of the fundamental values in international relations in the 21st century» (para 1 (6)) and highlights «shared responsibility for managing economic and social development».

One more relevant source of soft law is the Limburg principles on the implementation of the ICESCR obligates states «to cooperate with one another to promote … the economic growth of developing countries» (para 31) as well as the Maastricht principles on extraterritorial obligations of states in the area of ESCR. In this respect, the Maastricht principles on extraterritorial obligations of states in the area of ESCR are of great importance as they provide the definition of extraterritorial obligations and define in detailed the scope of extraterritorial obligations of states with regard to ESCR [1]. Unlike other legal documents mentioned above which mention international cooperation, the Maastricht Principles mention specifically extraterritorial obligations. Therefore, both legally binding treaties and soft law sources provide extraterritorial obligations on states in the field of human rights. These obligations are derived from legally binding treaties. It determines their nature. It implies that they are legal obligations.

The scope of extraterritorial obligations

The classic notion of obligations restricted human right obligations by the negative obligation to refrain from interference [7]. It is considered the obligation to respect human rights.

However, contemporary human rights law provides more comprehensive interpretation of human rights obligations of states [7]. It provides that they include not only the negative obligation to abstain from certain actions which may cause human rights violations, but also the positive obligation to take measures with the end to provide human rights rights [7]. To put in other words, states have obligations not only to respect but also obligations to protect and to fulfil human rights [10]. Moreover, as discussed above, it obligates states to provide human rights not only within their territory but also outside.

According to the Maastricht Principles, the obligation to respect means that states shall to refrain from direct and indirect interferences [10]. The obligation to protect implies that states must take necessary measures to ensure that non-State actors such as private individuals and organizations, and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, do not nullify or impair the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights [10].

Thus, international cooperation includes obligation to respect, protect and fulfil. However, as Vandenhole notes development cooperation is a part or one of the forms of international cooperation [9]. Thus, the content of international cooperation is broader than the content of international development cooperation. In this regard, it is also noteworthy that development assistance is recognized one of the key pillars of international cooperation [8]. It is one of the ways to reduce poverty.

As mentioned above, international cooperation includes obligation to respect, protect and fulfil while international development cooperation is focused on the obligation to fulfil [9]. In the context of international development cooperation the obligation to fulfil is worth special attention. According to the Maastricht principles, the obligation to fulfil implies the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing states (para 33). It is frequently referred to as official development assistance (ODA) which requires resources to be transformed from developed countries to developing ones.

The obligation of international cooperation, in particular, development cooperation, implies, on the one hand, the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing states, on the other hand, the obligation of developing states to seek and to accept assistance suggested. The Maastricht Principles also refer both the obligation to provide assistance and the obligation to seek assistance. The obligation to provide assistance is aimed to promote human rights outside the state’s territory while the obligation to seek assistance is aimed to promote human rights within the state’s territory. Given that extraterritorial obligations imply that states are obliged to provide human rights not only within but also outside their territory, it may be stated that extraterritorial obligations in the context of international development and in a narrow sense refer to the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing states, but not to the obligation of developing states to seek this assistance. Therefore, international development cooperation is a part of international cooperation and extraterritorial obligations are a part of obligations within international development cooperation. To put in other words, the scope of extraterritorial obligation in a narrow strict is limited by the obligation of developed states to provide assistance to developing countries.

However, it is wrong to say that extraterritorial obligations are limited by the obligation to fulfil human rights. According to the Maastricht principles, as mentioned above, extraterritorial obligations imply the obligation to respect and to protect as well. It is true that in the context of development cooperation the obligation to fulfil is of great importance. However the importance of the obligation to fulfil does not diminish the significance of other obligations, in particular, the obligation to protect. Given the increasing role of business entities and transnational companies, their impact on human rights and development the obligation to protect shall be provided. In most cases this impact is not restricted by the state’s territory. As a rule, the activities of TNC of developed states have negative impact on the territory of developing states. The state responsibility for human rights violations by corporations is qualified by the due diligence concept [2]. Therefore, not only the obligation to fulfill but also the obligation to protect is of great importance in the context of international development cooperation.

As mentioned above, soft law provides a comprehensive interpretation of extraterritorial obligations and their scope. In this respect, the contribution of the CESCR is of great importance. First of all, the CESCR stresses that international cooperation is likely to be a particularly important element in enabling some developing countries to fulfil their obligations under the Covenant, in particular, to provide the rights of persons with disabilities and older persons. Secondly, the Committee has determined what international cooperation and assistance entails with respect to specific rights. In particular, the CESCR defined international obligations of state with regard to the right to housing (General comment No. 4, para 13), the right to education (General comment No. 11 para 9 and General comment No. 13, para 56), the right to food (General comment No. 12, para 17, 36, 37), right to health (General comment No. 4, para 38–42), the right to water (General comment No. 15, para 30–36), the right to work (General comment No. 18, para 29–30), the right to social security (General comment No. 19, para 52–58). More specifically, with respect to all ESCR, the CESCR obligates states, firstly, to refrain from actions that interfere, directly or indirectly, with the enjoyment of ESCR. Secondly, it obligates states to give due attention in international agreements. More specifically, international agreements concluded between states shall be in conformity with their obligations under international human rights treaties [6]. For instance, it is provided that the failure of a state to take into account its international legal obligation regarding the right to food when entering into agreements with other states or with international organizations constitute a violation of the right to food.

One more specific extraterritorial obligation in the context development cooperation which, however, derived from a number of political commitments but not from legal treaties is the obligation of developed states to allocate at least 0.7 of their GDP on development assistance. It is emphasized that is it necessary to strengthen this obligation by providing strong legal basis [9]. It is also noteworthy that the CESCR emphasizes the importance of international cooperation and assistance in the times of emergency. Indeed, this obligation is of great importance in the states of emergency such as armed conflicts or natural disasters. It is claimed that at present, development aid is declining, while aid given in humanitarian assistance is growing [5]. In the situations of emergency states may face difficulties to provide even minimum level of ESCR, for example the right to food. States in a position to assist shall provide assistance. It is considered humanitarian assistance.

One more form of development cooperation is technical assistance. It is provided by the ICESCR, article 22. It is also referred to a number of soft law sources. In particular, the CESCR General Comment No. 2 on international technical assistance measures underlines the importance of technical assistance for development. With regard to the scope of extraterritorial obligations it is also noteworthy that so far, no international jurisprudence has been mainly developed on extraterritorial obligations regarding economic, social and cultural rights and there is a debate also on extraterritorial obligations with respect to civil and political rights [4]. The legal provisions mentioned above confirm that.

References

1. Courtis Ch., Sepulveda M., Are extraterritorial obligations reviewable under the Optional protocol to the ICESCR, 2009.

2. Engstrom V. Who is responsible for corporate human rights violations? Abo Academy University, Institute for human rights. 2002.

3. Gostin L., Archer R. The duty of states to assist other states in need: ethics, human rights and international law, Georgetown university law centre, 2008.

4. Hausmann U. and RolfKünnemann R. Germany’s extraterritorial obligations. – 2006.

5. Luopajarvi K. Is there an obligation on states to accept international humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons under international law? – Oxford university press, 2003.

6. Principles and Guidelines for a Human Rights Approach to Poverty Reduction strategies. – OHCHR, 2006.

7. Scogly S. Extra-national obligation towards economic and social rights. International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2002.

8. UNDP. International cooperation at a crossroads; aid, trade and security in an unequal world. – Human Development Report, 2005.

9. Vandenhole W. Is there a legal obligation to cooperate internationally for development. International journal on Children’s rights, 2007.

10. Maastricht principles on extraterritorial obligations of states in the area of economic, social and cultural rights.

 

 

 

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