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

What's New

Grounding the Rights-Based National Housing Strategy in the Right to Housing: Here's How

Bruce Porter Enhancing the Rights-Based Framework for Canada's National Housing Strategy

SRAC promotes key social rights recommendations for Canada's upcoming UPR. Check out the Key UPR Recommendations

UM Human Rights Committee to decide on Migrants' Access to Healthcare in decision in Nell Toussaint v Canada HRC No 2348-2014 to be released at next session in July. See  Response to Canada re access to health care for irregular migrants. Gets support from Amnesty International and ESCR-Net

Application for Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada denied in Tanudjaja (Homeless peoples' rights to life, security and equality) Affidavit of Bruce Porter
All other documents

New Book. Martha Jackman & Bruce Porter (eds)  Advancing Social Rights in Canada now published and available at Irwin Law

See the ESCR Case Law Database

Past but Relevant NOW

Bill C-400 model housing strategy legislation.

1992 Alternative Social Charter



New Publications

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

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.

Bruce Porter, Inclusive Interpretations: Social Rights and Judicial Accountability in Helena Alviar García, Karl Klare and Lucy Williams (eds), Social and Economic Rights in Theory and Practice: Critical Inquiries (London and New York: Routledge, 2015)


 

From the Archives

Bruce Porter, Human Rights and the Right to Housing in Housing - A Right, a publication to coincide with an exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery on homelessness and the right to housing. Now Magazine, Toronto, 1989.

See Further publications

The Social Rights Advocacy Centre

A not for profit NGO relieving poverty and improving access to adequate food,clothing, housing, education, healthcare and other requirements of dignity, equality and security through human rights research, public education and legal advocacy in Canada and around the world. SRAC is on the Steering Committee of ESCR-Net's Strategic Litigation Initiative, the ESCR Case Law Database and the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR. SRAC co-directs the a major researh project on Social Rights in Canada. SRAC co-ordinates the  Charter Committee on Poverty Issues , intervening in more than a dozen cases at the Supreme Court of Canada.

 

Current Activities

 

Support for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

SRAC provides administrative and substantive support for the critical work of Leilani Farha, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.

See the upcoming Thematic Report on on Rights-Based Housinjg Strategies

to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on February 28, 2018.

Rights-Based Housing Strategies A/HRC/37/53.

Summary of 10 Principles in a Rights Based Housing Strategy

Strategias de vivienda basadas en derechos

Stratégies de logement fondées sur les droits de l’homme

 

Litigation Support 

 

Challenging the Violation of Charities' Right to Freedom of Expression: Canada Without Poverty v. Canada

The Right to Healthcare of Migrants - Petition to the UN Human Rights Committee: Toussaint v. Canada and Support for Interventions in the Refugee Healthcare Case.

Historic Challenge to Homelessness in Canada: Tanudjaja et al v. Ontario and Canada

Challenging Discrimination Because of Social Condition or Poverty

 

Thematic and Law Reform Initiatives

Enhancing the Rights-Based Rights-Based Framework for Canada's National Housing Strategy"

Promoting rights-based strategies to reduce and eliminate poverty and homelessness

Bruce Porter Remarks for Panel on the Implementation of United Nations Treaty Body Recommendations, UN New York, October 26, 2016

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing to the United Nations General Assembly on the Right to Life and the Right to Adequate Housing A/71/310

Joint Submissions of SRAC with ESCR-Net and Global Initiaitve for ESC Rights for Human Rights Committee Discussion of New General Comment 36 on the Right to Life

Joint Report from SRAC, ESCR-Net and CCPI for Periodic Review of Canada focusing on Access to Justice for Migrants and Homeless in Canada

Research

SRAC Co-Directed the Major Research Project Under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Community-University Research Alliance and continues to update the website on a voluntary basis (when possible)

Social Rights Community-University Research Alliance

SRAC Publications

SRAC publications and working papers.

New and exciting!

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)


Bruce Porter, Inclusive Interpretations: Social Rights and Judicial Accountabilityprepared for Helena Alviar García, Karl Klare and Lucy Williams (eds), Social and Economic Rights in Theory and Practice: Critical Inquiries (London and New York: Routledge, 2015)

Bruce Porter Rethinking Progressive Realization: How Should it Be Implemented in Canada:

International Education and Advocacy

Violations of the Right to Life and to Non-discrimination of those who are Homeless and Migrants in Need of Health Care in Canada: Submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by ESCR-Net in conjunction with the Social Rights Advocacy Centre and the Charter Committee on Poverty Issue for the Sixth Period Report of Canada under the ICCPR

 

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - Rules of Procedure, Strategic Ligation

Litigation Support

Charter and International Human Rights Challenge: The Right to Healthcare of Undocumented Migrants in Canada

The case is now before the UN Human Rights Committe in a communication under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), alleging violations of various rights under the ICCPR including article 6, the right to life, article 7, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to non-discrimination under articles 2(1) and 26. A decision is expected in July, 2018

Excutive Summary of the Petition

Petition: Nell Toussaint v Canada HRC No 2348-2014

Applicant's Application for Leave to Appeal to SCC Memorandum

Letter from Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

For more information on this historic case click here.


Historic Charter Challenge to Homelessness and Violations of the Right to Adequate Housing in Canada

AT THE ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL

Notice of Appeal

Appellants' Factum

AG Canada Factum

AG Ontario Factum

Interveners' Facta

Charter Committe on Poverty Issues, Pivot Legal Society and Justice for Girls

Amnesty International and ESCR-Net

ARCH Disability Coalition

Colour of Poverty Coalition

Income Security Coalition

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Asper Centre

AGs Facta in Resonse to Interveners

AG Ontario Response to Interveners

AG Canada Response to Interveners

For documents and further information on this case click here.


Discrimination on the Ground of Social Condition of Poverty, homelessness or level of education

For commentary and documents on the Taypotat case clicke here.

CCPI and CWP file Motion to intervene at Supreme Court on Discrimination because of Social Condition in Taypotat v. Taytpotat.

AG Canada Reply

CCPI/CWP Response

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court denied the application for leave to intervene and released a unanimous negative decision by written by Abella J.

Kahkewistahaw First Nation v. Taypotat, 2015 SCC 30.

Toussaint v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration SCC File No. 34336 (Fee Waiver Case)

Application for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

Respondent's Memorandum on Application for Leave to SCC

Applicant's Reply on Application for Leave to SCC

Federal Court of Appeal Decision

Nell Toussaint won the right to consideration of fee waiver request under section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in place at the time. Unfortunately, this decision will be of little use to claimants under the current IRPA, which has been amended by the Harper Government, in response to this litigation, to preclude fee waiver under section 25 of the Act. The Federal Court of Appeal proceeded to consider CCPI's constitutional and Charter arguments and, sadly, upheld the erroneous findings of Snider J. in the court below.

Access to Justice - Advance Costs Awards

CCPI  joined in coalition with three other Equality Seeking Groups (LEAF, CCD, PHRC) to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Alberta v. Caron SCC File No. 33092. The case concerns the discretion of the Courts to award advance costs to claimants who would otherwise be unable to litigate their public interest claims.

Our arguments were successful at the Supreme Court of Canada. While advance costs awards do not solve the larger systemic issues of access to justice linked to inadequate civil legal aid and the cancellation of the Court Challenge Program, the decision of the Supreme Court is still a positive step in promoting access to justice for disadvantaged and marginalized groups. See

 Interveners Motion Record and see Factum of CCD,  CCPI, LEAF and PHRC in Caron

Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada R. v. Caron, 2011 SCC 5

Law Reform

 "Enhancing the Rights-Based Rights-Based Framework for Canada's National Housing Strategy"

 

International Education and Advocacy

SRAC in Geneva to promote key social rights recommendations for Canada's upcoming UPR

 

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

 

SRAC has been involved in two historic amicus submissions to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in relation to petitions considered under the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR.

 Third_Party_Intervention_CESCR_Communication_10_of_2015.pdf

Read about SRAC's involvement in the successful compaign at the United Nations for the historic adoption of an optional complaints mechanism for economic, social and cultural rights, and the  NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) , the ESCR-Net Caselaw Database , and international legal education on social rights.

Considerations of the International NGO Coalition for an OP- ICESCR in relation to the OP-ICESCR and its Rules of Procedure  

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culturaladopted by the UN General Assembly December 10, 2008

Justice Now: Ratify to Protect All Human Rights

Bruce Porter,  The Reasonableness Of Article 8(4)  Adjudicating Claims From The Margins,? Nordic Journal of Human Rights (NJHR), Vol. 27, No.1:2009.

Bruce Porter, Reasonableness in the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, (SRAC Working Paper, 2012) for publication in R. Brown, M. Langford, B. Porter and J. Rossi (eds) The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Commentary (Capetown: Pretoria University Law Press, forthcoming).

Bruce Porter, Enforcing the Right to Reasonableness in Social Rights Litigation: 
The Canadian Experience
, SRAC Working Paper, for publication in M. Langford, C. Rodriguez and J. Rossi (eds), Making it Stick: Compliance with Social Rights Judgments in Comparative Perspective (Capetown: Pretoria University Law Press, forthcoming).

Bruce Porter The Right to be Heard: The Optional Protocl to the ECESCR: What's at Stake? Human Rights Tribune des droits humains Volume 11, Nº 3

Public Education

SRAC will be participating in cross-country workshops to discuss recommendations emerging from Canada's3rd Universal Periodic Review.

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food: Mission to Canada 2012

SRAC worked with a broad range of community partners in co-ordinating the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Olivier De Schutter.  A meeting of national organizations and human rights experts with the Special Rapporteur was organized inOttawa on May 7, 2012 on The Right to Food and Governance in Canada. See:  Agenda and presentations See the Special Rapporteur’s Preliminary Report on his Mission to Canada. See Further Information on Meetings with Civil Society and Presentations.

See also Letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Response of the Government of Canada to the Special Rapporteur’s Mission.