Life (Right to)

Primary tabs

Caselaw

Jeannine Godin lived in poverty and relied on social assistance.  The Minister of Health and Social Services had been granted custody of her three children for six months, and was applying to extend this for another six months.  She applied to legal aid for a lawyer to represent her at the hearing but was denied because legal aid did not cover temporary custody hearings.  She applied to the court for an order that funds be provided for a lawyer and asked for a declaration that the restricted eligibility for legal aid violated her rights to life, liberty and security of the person under s.

The case involved a challenge by certain private professional educational facilities to the constitutionality of state laws regulating capitation fees charged by such institutions.  

Under Sections 20 and 21 of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976, the State Government exempted certain excess land from the provisions of the Act on the condition that the land be used by the builders for the purpose of providing housing for the ‘weaker sections of society.'  It was alleged that the builders had not done so. Although it found that the applicant's writ of petition had been rendered infructuous, the Bombay High Court gave some directions regarding future monitoring of the scheme sanctioned under Section 20.
 

South Africa is in the midst of an HIV/AIDS epidemic with more than 6 million people infected.    In 2,000, with infections of newborns in the range of 80,000 per year, the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine offered the potential of preventing the infection of 30 – 40,000 children per year.  The drug was offered to the Government for free for five years, but the South African Government announced it would introduce Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) only in certain pilot sites and would delay setting these up for a year, thereby denying most mothers access to treatment.  The Treatment Action

Three brothers (V) lived in Switzerland from 1980 as recognised refugees. In 1987, they were expelled from Switzerland to Czechoslovakia for criminal offences. In September 1991, they illegally re-entered Switzerland.

Starvation deaths had occurred in the state of Rajasthan, despite excess grain being kept for official times of famine, and various schemes throughout India for food distribution were also not functioning. In 2001, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) petitioned the court for enforcement of both the food schemes and the Famine Code, a code permitting the release of grain stocks in times of famine. They grounded their arguments on the right to food, deriving it from the right to life.

In 1981, the State of Maharashta and the Bombay Municipal Council decided to evict all pavement and slum dwellers from the city of Bombay. The residents claimed such action would violate the right to life, since a home in the city allowed them to attain a livelihood and demanded that adequate resettlement be provided if the evictions proceeded. The Court declined to provide the remedies requested by the applicants but found that the right to a hearing had been violated at the time of the planned eviction.

FIDH claimed that France had violated the right to medical assistance (Article 13 of Revised European Social Charter) by ending the exemption of illegal immigrants, with very low incomes, from charges for medical and hospital treatment. Further, the complainant alleged the rights of children to protection (Article 17) were contravened by a 2002 legislative reform that restricted access to medical services for children of illegal immigrants. The Committee found that France had acted contrary to the rights of children, but not adults.

A large number of residents of basties (informal settlements) of Dhaka City were evicted without notice and their homes were demolished with bulldozers. A case, challenging the ongoing evictions, was brought by two residents and three citizens in the public interest. The Supreme Court held that inhabitants had some rights to shelter and a fair hearing and made recommendations for resettlement.

La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) recibió una petición contra el Estado de Brasil a favor de los indígenas Yanomami a raíz de la construcción de una carretera y del otorgamiento de permisos de explotación minera en territorio indígena.