ESCR-Net publishes article analyzing the historic step towards access to justice for ESCR violations at UN

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In September, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) issued historic recommendations, finding Spain in violation of the right to housing, in the first case decided under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR). Dismissed by the Spanish Constitutional Court, the case involved a homeowner, who learned that her home was being auctioned after she fell behind on payments during the economic crisis.

This case, brought by FR abogados, is particularly important because it is a reminder that governments have existing obligations to realize human rights and ensure access to justice, and it provides valuable guidance to Spain and Spanish civil society in the protection of the right to housing. This case is also particularly important as the UN Committee on ESCR accepted a third party intervention from ESCR-Net.

Through this collective intervention, ESCR-Net members—led by Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South AfricaCenter for Economic and Social Rights, and Global Initiative for ESCR—presented comparative legal approaches from other contexts and highlighted established legal principles that can further help in the protection of human rights.

The article was written by Chris Grove, ESCR-Net Director, and Daniela Ikawa, coordinator of the ESCR-Net’s Strategic Litigation Working Group, and it is availble in English and Spanish on OpenGlobalRights.