The concept of the "minimum core" seeks to establish a minimum legal content for the notoriously indeterminate claims of economic and social rights. By recognizing the "minimum essential levels" of the rights to food, health, housing, and education, it is a concept trimmed, honed, and shorn of deontological excess. It reflects a "minimalist" rights strategy, which implies that maximum gains are made by minimizing goals. It also trades rights inflation for rights-ambition, channeling the attention of advocates towards the severest cases of material deprivation and treating these as violations by states towards their own citizens or even to those outside their territorial reach. With the minimum core concept as its guide, economic and social rights are supposed to enter the hard work of hard law.
Katharine G. Young,
The Minimum Core of Economic and Social Rights: A Concept in Search of Content,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol33/iss1/4