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Discussion on benefits & drawbacks of indexes for economic, social & cultural rights

In the month of August, ESCR-Net Monitoring Working Group hosted a discussion on the pros and cons of indexes. Contributions by Irene Pietropaoli and Damiano De Felice specifically addressed the debate regarding business and human rights. Scroll down on the discussion for these two contributions.

For CESR, indexes have proven to be most effective as a way to offer a general ‘snapshot’ of ESCR-related issues in a country. By flagging deviations from the norm and changes over time, indexes can effectively draw attention to a state’s apparent under-performance. Nevertheless, we’ve been cautious not to overstate the conclusions about a country’s rights compliance that can be drawn directly from composite scores, especially those whose methodology is complex. It would be great to hear how organizations have used indexes in their ESCR monitoring. Are there other examples to add to the list above? Have you found rankings to be an effective means of monitoring ESCR fulfillment? Do the pros and cons identified here reflect your experience? Are there others that should be mentioned? In what ways can we maximize the benefits and minimize the challenges of using indexes to monitor ESCR?

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