Elizabeth Shura


This Note proposes two alternatives to the standard use of progressive realization assessments under international human rights law. The first is to identify "key rights"-immediately enforceable civil and political rights that are so deeply intertwine with related social, economic, and political rights that enforcing the first unlocks access to the second. This strategy relies on the deep interconnection of all human rights a connection that is heightened among vulnerable populations such as Cambodian AIDS-related orphans. The second solution offered is an alternative method of conducting analysis under the progressive realization standard. Economic, social, and cultural rights can be examined and defined broadly, incorporating all the dimensions implied by the treaties that define them-for example, the formulation of the right to education includes nondiscriminatory language. This Note proposes that under the progressive realization standard, each step taken should be required to include the full breadth of that right. Using the example of education, if a step taken towards school access disproportionately leaves out a particular group, it would fail to encompass the nondiscriminatory aspect of the right to education, and violate the progressive realization standard. This Note argues that if the progressive steps a state takes to ensure and protect a right do not include the full breadth of that right-in this example, if a step taken towards educational access disproportionately leaves out a particular group-it does not meet the requirements of progressive realization. Part I of this Note will look at the law governing the rights of Cambodian AIDS-related orphans. Part II will examine the theoretical and factual context of those rights. In an attempt to provide sufficient context for progressive realization arguments, Section A will explore Cambodia's history in relation to human rights, and Section B will look at the progression of the AIDS epidemic within the country. Section C will examine the rights of AIDS-related orphans and vulnerable children in modern Cambodia. Part III will present solutions to the problem of progressive realization arguments regarding human rights in today's Cambodia.