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When it comes to economic social and cultural rights, when resources and capacity are a limiting factor, the government has an obligation to progressively realize these rights and not to retrogress, meaning not to go to lesser or worse commitments than it has already fulfilled.How are international human standards useful at the local level?Integrating human rights standards into your local work provides for a shared vision, a common framework for social and political change, organizations do not have to reinvent standards from scratch and they gain international legitimacy when using them. International standards provide mechanisms for accountability because international human rights documents are legally binding or carry moral and political force, therefore governments, corporations, and individuals can publicly be called upon to live up to their obligations. Local ratification and implementation of human rights documents can bring international human rights standards into our communities. Local implementation can ensure that international standards improve the lives of communities for the long-term. Adoption of international standards through passage of ordinances in our cities, municipalities, and departments sends a strong message to elected officials that national ratification and implementation are important to their constituencies.

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