Caselaw Database - All Cases

ESCR-Net Caselaw Database: A database on domestic, regional and international decisions regarding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Inter-American Court Enforces Positive Duty of Progressive Realization in Health Case on Persons Living with HIV

This case was presented by 49 victims—15 of whom had died while the case was being examined—and their family members, all of whom shared intersecting characteristics that made them more vulnerable to harm, such as living in poverty. The Court noted that Guatemala is the Central American country with the highest number of people living with HIV, approximately 52,000 people in 2018. The Guatemalan government attempted to address this crisis through legislation and public policy, including the availability of anti-retroviral therapy starting in 1999, but its response was inadequate.

International Court of Justice Advances Progressive Environmental Jurisprudence

This case is preceded by the 2015 ICJ decision which found that disputed territory between Costa Rica and Nicaragua belonged to Costa Rica, and that, by excavating three caños (channels) and establishing a military presence, Nicaragua violated Costa Rica’s territorial sovereignty. This finding rendered Nicaragua’s activities unlawful under international law, which gave rise to an obligation of reparation by Nicaragua.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Upholds the Human Right to a Healthy Environment

Amidst rising international concern about the human rights implications of a trans-oceanic canal in Nicaragua and concerned with implications for the people residing within the Colombian island of San Andrés, Colombia had requested an advisory opinion from the IACtHR in 2016 concerning state obligations in relation to the environment in the context of the protection and guarantee of the rights to life and to personal integrity.

Colombian Supreme Court Rules to Protect Future Generations and Amazon Rainforest in Climate Change Case

With the support of Dejusticia, 25 children and youth filed suit against the President of Colombia, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and the municipalities of the Colombian Amazon claiming that deforestation in the country’s Amazon region and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions threaten their rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, and access to water.

UN finds rights violations in irregular migrant being denied essential health services

Nell Toussaint challenged Canada’s denial of health care coverage to undocumented immigrants under the under the federal government’s program of health care to immigrants, called the Interim Federal Health Benefit Program. After exhausting domestic remedies, Toussaint brought her claims to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Committee) under the optional complaints procedure (first optional protocol) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Canada ratified in 1976.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Affirms Rights Related to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Costa Rica requested the advisory opinion, seeking clarity on ACHR obligations relating to gender identity and same-sex partnerships and their application to its domestic legal order.

Shelter Residents Successfully Challenge Rules on Family Separation and Lockout

This case grew out of the 2011 judgment in Blue Moonlight, where the Constitutional Court of South Africa held that municipalities have a constitutional obligation to provide temporary emergency accommodation to all evictees who would be rendered homeless.

UN Committee on ESCR addresses the impact of unpaid care work on women’s social security access

Marcia Cecilia Trujillo Calero made 29 years’ worth of retirement contributions to the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS). Of the 305 contributions she made, approximately half were voluntary contributions made from 1981 through 1995, when she was an unpaid care worker at home, caring for her three children. During an eight-month period starting in 1989, Ms. Trujillo paused her voluntary payments, though she retroactively paid them in full in April 1990. Afterward, Ms.

African Children's Rights Committee holds Mauritania Accountable for Child Slavery

Said Ould Salem and his younger brother, Yarg Ould Salem, were born to a Haratine mother, part of Mauritania’s former slave class. While slavery is now outlawed in Mauritania, the practice remains widespread, commonly victimizing members of the Haratine minority. From birth onwards, both brothers became slaves to the El Hassine family. The two children worked seven days a week without rest, including on Fridays.

Indian Supreme Court upholds gender equality in inheritance law

Gurulingappa Savadi was the head of a Hindu joint (intergenerational) family who died in 2001. In 2002, his grandson brought a suit to partition the family property, alleging that only Mr. Savadi’s widow and two sons were co-owners of the property upon Mr. Savadi’s death. The suit asserted that Mr. Savadi’s two married daughters were not entitled to any share of the property, since they were born prior to the Hindu Succession Act (codified customary/personal law), and therefore could not be treated as coparceners (persons who share jointly with others in an inheritance).