Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (General)

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December 10th of 2011, Human Rights Day, marks the third anniversary of the adoption of the Optional Protocol to International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights at the UN general Assembly.

The Constitutional Court today declared the City of Johannesburg's housing policy unconstitutional and ordered the City to provide temporary accommodation to 86 desperately poor people living in Berea in inner city Johannesburg. The Court was ruling on the application of Blue Moonlight Properties to evict the occupiers from its property.

After a long-sought struggle by La Via Campesina and other organizations for further recognition and protection of the rights of peasants, the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Council will present a final study on ways and means to further advance the rights of people working in rural areas.

Can the U.S. afford to recognize economic and social rights in the midst of high unemployment rates at home and an ongoing global economic crisis?

During the last several weeks ESCR-Net has stood in solidarity with our member organization Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) who have mobilized in response to the clearing of mangroves and associated land grabbing activities.  The PFF has recently compiled a report documenting their struggle to defend their lands, their liveihoods and their lives that ESCR-Net is proud to share here.

On June 17, 2011 ESCR-Net sent a letter calling on the Government of India to put an end to actions aimed at forcibly entering and seizing lands in and around the village of Govindpur to make way for an integrated steel plant. The letter also requested that India desist from all acts of intimidation and the filing of baseless criminal charges against human rights defenders and undertake to respect the human rights of the affected community.

A new resource from ESCR-Net member CWGL, Maximum Available Resources & Human Rights: Analytical Report examines the many ways that governments can access financial resources in order to fulfill their obligation to use ‘maximum available resources' (MAR) for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights.

In April the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), in conjunction with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, held "The African Human Rights System: Practical Steps for Creating Effective Litigation Strategies," a workshop created to openly discuss the role of African human rights system in the wake of the recent uprisings in the region. The attached summary disusses contributions by participant and outcomes of the event.

The South African Constitutional Court was asked to decide whether tenants of a block of flats were entitled to notice before the municipal electricity utility, City Power, disconnected their supply. The tenants paid for their electricity to the owner of the property, and despite their regular payment, the owner allowed substantial arrears to run up on the account, and City Power disconnected the property, giving the owner, but not the tenants, notice.