Social Security and Welfare Rights

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Petitioner, 69-year old Hernando de Jesus Blanco Angarita, filed a tutela action before the Constitutional Court after the First Civil Municipal Court of Bogota found that the National Social Security Fund had not violated his constitutional rights by delaying the transfer of his deceased wife’s pension. The Constitutional Court reversed the First Civil Municipal Court and held that there had been a violation of rights recognized both in the Colombian Constitution and international law.

In 1998, Congress approved Amendment 20 to the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988, thereby altering the country’s social security system. The amendment imposed a ceiling of R$1200 on social security benefits per beneficiary. On its face, the R$1200 maximum purported to apply neutrally to several benefits categories, including with respect to pregnancy-related leave.

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.

Last October, members from the Strategic Litigation Working Group and Women and ESCR Working Group submitted a collective third party intervention...

UK Court advances women’s enjoyment of the rights to adequate housing and social protection

The Sandwell Metropolitan Council formed a new tax plan pursuant to a national change in tax law. Previously, low-income persons would be given financial assistance to pay council taxes, whereas under the new plan, individuals’ tax liability was lowered based on financial status. The relevant statute stated that local authorities would create locally-tailored plans to determine tax liability by creating classes based on income, capital, and number of dependents.

The Society for Community Organisation submitted a list of issues to the pre-sessional CESCR working group. These issues were to be addressed in connection with the consideration of the third report of China: the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong concerning the rights...

The World Uyghur Congress submitted an Alternative Report to the Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights (CESCR). This was in anticipation of the session on the People's Republic Of China. The March 2013 submission addresses the right to just and favourable working...

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) made a submission, in May 2013, to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The submission was made for consideration at the 51st Pre-sessional Working Group of...

Undocumented workers should be granted equal rights, states the Inter-American Commission

Leopoldo Zumaya and Francisco Berumen Lizalde were both injured on the job while working without work authorization in the United States. Each sustained long-term physical damage and were denied access to compensation solely because of their immigration status. Mr. Zumaya filed a workers’ compensation claim but had to settle for a fraction of what he would have received if he had been a U.S. legal permanent resident or citizen. Mr. Lizalde was arrested and deported to Mexico – seemingly in direct response to his workers’ compensation claim – and therefore was unable to pursue it. 

The plaintiffs were recipients of the federal program Aid to Families with Dependent Children or the New York State program Home Relief who alleged that New York officials terminated or were about to terminate their benefits under the programs without notice or hearing. When the suit was filed, no rules were in place requiring that recipients be given notice or a hearing before losing their benefits. Before this appeal occurred, the state and city of New York adopted procedures for notice and hearing. The plaintiffs then challenged the adequacy of the new procedures.