A social, economic and cultural rights
are rights which are socio-economic human rights, which gives rights to
individuals such as, the right to education, the right to housing, the right to
an adequate standard of living, and the right to health.1
These were introduced as first and second generation rights, first generation
being civil and political rights, and second generation being Economic, social
and cultural rights. These rights were formulated after the second world war, in 1946 The
United Nations had created a Commission on Human Rights which led to the
commission drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was
adopted by 48 Members of the United Nations.2 Human rights are set by the
International Bill Of Rights, which include two types of treaties, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights. 3Economic, social and cultural rights are
both recognised and are protected in what is known as international human
rights instruments. It is so that member of sates have a legal obligation to
protect and fulfil these rights, and are expected to take action towards
ensuring that such rights are fulfilled.  4But what is a civil and
political right? A civil and political right is a class of rights which protect
individuals’ freedom from being infringed by governments, social organisations
and private individuals. 5

Economic, social and cultural rights,
are universal rights. When looking at these rights from a personal perspective
one can argue, that Economic social and cultural rights can have different
meanings, what I may think as a social and cultural right somebody else may
not, there is no set definition as to what it could mean. However, argued under
the ICESR, they have given definition to these rights for example, Article 3 of
the ICESCR states that “state parties to the present covenant undertake to
ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic,
social and cultural rights.” 6Article 11, states the
entitlement “to adequate standard of living.” 7Article 13, gives “the
right to education.”8 Although these rights have
been defined under the ICESCR, the argument presented is that these rights are
too vaguely defined. In the words of Scott and Macklem “social rights suffer a
painful lack of precision.”9 And therefore lack the
reason to be judicially enforceable. An extended example of this is the South
African Constitution, under section 26 it states that, “everyone has the right
to access adequate housing…” 10  but what is adequate housing? It is too
vaguely defined, as what one may take as “adequate”. This is set to be one of
the main arguments presented forward that Economic, social and cultural rights
should not be legally enforceable as in order for a right to be enforceable in
court, human rights have to be defined in precise terms.

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Economic, Social and
cultural rights are argued that they should be legally enforceable, however,
this is easier said than done, as by implementing these rights would cost each
state a large sum of money. In which it is