Promoting and claiming social and economic rights through an inclusive human rights practice


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The Toussaint case on right to life of irregular migrants and healthcare

The Tanudjaja Charter challenge to the failure to address homelessness

The National Housing Strategy Act and the right to housing in Canada

The 2019 Toronto Housing Charter and its Implementation Plan

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues Interventions

Social Rights In Canada Community-University Research Project


What's New

CCPI/CHC/FCJRC and AI/ESCR-Net file facta in Toussaint v Canada

Presentations to Dept of Justice and OGD on National Housing Strategy Act with NRHN and WNHHN

The progressive realization of the right to housing: Paper prepared for the National Housing Council

Three papers on implementing the right to housing under the National Housing Strategy Act

Co-ordinated Legal Action to challenge Canada and other States obstructing #TRIPS Waiver at the #WTO! Letter to Minister NG

CERA and National Right to Housing Network Make first SUBMISSION under the National Housing Strategy Act.

Charities liberated to engage in public policy after groundbreaking decn of Justice Ed Morgan in Canada Without Poverty v Canada

New Publications

Bruce Porter, La interdependencia de · los derechos humanos in Derechos sociales y el momento constituyente de Chile: Perspectivas globales y locales para el debate constitucional (Distrito Global, 2021)

Jackie Dugard, Franziska Sucker & Bruce Porter & Jamie Burton, Supporting the TRIPS COVID-19 waiver is an essential step to support international human rights (Open Global Rights, 2021)

Bruce Porter, Implementing the Right to Adequate Housing Under the National Housing Strategy Act: The International Human Rights Framework (2021) (en francais)

Jackie Dugard, Bruce Porter, Daniela Ikawa and Lilian Chenwi (eds) Research Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as Human Rights

Elizabeth McIsaac and Bruce Porter "Housing Rights: Ottawa takes an historic step forward"Literary Review of Canada,(November, 2019)

Martha Jackman & Bruce Porter "Social and Economic Rights" in P. Oliver, P. Macklem and N. Des Rosiers, The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (New York, Oxford Univesity Press, 2017) at pp 843-866.

Martha Jackman and Bruce Porter (eds)  Advancing Social Rights in Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014)

From the Archives

1992 Alternative Social Charter 

See Further publications























Litigation Support: Amicus Brief in Detroit Right to Water Case

The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) was granted leave from the U.S. District Court to be recognized as amicus curiae (1) in the case of Lyda et al. v. City of Detroit (2) in support of residents challenging the City of Detroit’s decision to cut off water supply to thousands of households unable to pay their bills. 

The City of Detroit disconnected approximately 30,000 households of low-income persons and persons living in poverty from the municipal water supply, leaving them without access to drinking water and water for toilets and basic sanitation.

This action shocked the international community and prompted the visit of two UN Special Rapporteurs to assess the situation in October 2014. Despite the onset of winter, local groups report that the City has continued water shut-offs at the homes of low-income families, the elderly, and the infirmed.

The intervention was co-ordinated by ESCR-Net Strategic Litigation Working Group and included Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia), the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), the Social Rights Advocacy Centre (SRAC), and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI).

Key Documents

Amicus Brief by ESCR-Net

Joint Press Statement by Special Rapporteurs

Decision of Bankruptcy Court


Transcript 9 - 2

Transcript 9 - 23

Appellants Brief

Appellee (Cityof Detroit) Brief

Appellants Reply Brief


Decision of the United States Court of Appeas for thel 6th Circuit

Lyda v. City of Detroit, No. 15-2236 (6th Cir. 2016)

The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal by the Bankruptcy Court as finding that Section 904 of the Bankruptcy Code explicitly prohibits the relief sought. The Court also dismissed the due process and equal protection claims.



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