Released last August, the General Comment No. 24 (2017) adopted by the CESCR Committee provided an important clarification on State Obligations in reaction to the growing impact of business activities on the enjoyment of specific Covenant rights. After the Statement adopted by the CESCR Committee on State Obligations related to corporate responsibilities in the context of the Covenant rights (2011), this new General Comment comes as a complement to the previous contribution. For instance, the Committee had affirmed in 2011 the States’ obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the Covenant rights of all persons under their jurisdiction in the context of corporate activities undertaken by State-owned or private enterprises.
As a clarification, the General Comment No. 24 argues that the States obligation to protect « sometimes necessitates direct regulation and intervention. States parties should consider measures such as restricting marketing and advertising of certain goods and services in order to protect public health, […] such as of breast-milk substitutes, in accordance with the 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions of the World Health Assembly. » (para 19)
Other important sections of the General Comment define States’ extraterritorial obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the Covenant righs, the types of remedies and measures of implementation.
Download the full text of the CESCR General Comment No. 24 (2017) here.