Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) sets out what governments are obligated to do to help realize people’s human rights. Developed by the Article 2 Project, the Article 2 and Governments’ Budgets handbook focuses on civil society budget work, explores what “achieving progressively,” “to the maximum of its available resources,” and “without discrimination” mean for the way that governments should raise, allocate, and spend their budgets so as to best realize people’s human rights. As a complement to the handbook, IBP held a series of webinars on these issues.
The “Progressive Realization” webinar was held on 26 September 2014. The third and final webinar in the series based on the handbook “Article 2 and Governments’ Budgets, this webinar featured handbook authors Ann Blyberg and Helena Hofbauer, together with guest speaker Shaamela Cassiem, Capacity Building Manager at IBP. They introduced the concept of “Progressive Realization” and discussed its failure through benefits not reaching the most vulnerable; the potential of retrogression via tax cut; and a positive example of “Progressive Realization.”
The “Non Discrimination” webinar was held on 18 September 2014. The second in a three-part series based on the “Article 2 and Governments’ Budgets” handbook, this webinar introduced the concept of “Non Discrimination.” Handbook author Ann Blybergtogether with guest speaker Guillermo Noriega from Sonora Ciudadana, Mexico discussed how organizations have used budget analysis to develop evidence of discrimination and how they have used their findings in advocacy to eliminate discriminatory practices.
Maximum Available Resources
The “Maximum Available Resources” webinar was held on 12 September 2014. The first in a three-part series based on the “Article 2 and Governments’ Budgets” handbook, this webinar featured authors Ann Blyberg and Helena Hofbauer, together with guest speaker Kate Ward from Participation and Practice of Rights. The webinar introduced the concept of “Maximum Available Resources” and what it means for government budgets, citing examples of governments failing to meet this obligation due to unnecessary, misdirected, or ineffectual spending.