Project on Enforcement of ESCR Judgments


In the last two decades, there has been a remarkable rise in the numbers of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) judgments in all regions. However, in many jurisdictions there are a few or, in some cases, many judgments that remain unimplemented. While some of these cases have resulted in broader and indirect impacts despite non-implementation, the lack of enforcement poses not only an issue for the victims affected but also consequences for those who promote the relevance and impact of human rights law as a useful framework for ensuring economic and social justice.

An important step in addressing these challenges is to analyze the reasons for implementation or non-implementation of particular decisions - is it the character of the cases (e.g., negative or positive obligations), the legal framework and judicial structure, political variables or the identity of the applicants and civil society partners. Equally, it is important to analyze what strategies have worked in different contexts to ensure implementation.

International Symposium, Bogotá, Colombia (May 6-7, 2010)

In order to address this gap and shed new light on this neglected area in research and practice, ESCR-Net, Dejusticia (Center for Law, Justice and Society, Colombia) and the Norwegian Centre on Human Rights with the support of Ford Foundation convened a two-day workshop in Bogotá, Colombia (May 6-7, 2010). The workshop brought together scholars, human rights lawyers and activists and constitutional judges from different parts of the world. The workshop combined  dialogue on conceptual and empirical issues with discussion on joint strategies for promoting the implementation of ESC rights. The workshop report and background note are below.