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

What's New

Canada Issues Responses to UPR Recommendations - Refuses to commit to ensuring access to effective remedies for the right to housing in the NHS legislation; refuses to accept the recommendation to interpret the Charter of Rights Consistentlly with interdependence of Charter rights and ESC rights!

UN Human Rights Committee Issues ground breaking decision in Toussaint v Canada. Canada violated the right to life by denying irregular migrants access to essential healthcare. Read more.

Canada Without Poverty v Canada - Historic Win for Charities

Grounding the Rights-Based National Housing Strategy in the Right to Housing: Here's How See the "Draft Legislation, and the  Consensus Proposals.

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

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing Report on Rights-Based Housing Strategies A/HRC/37/53.

Summary of 10 Principles in a Rights Based Housing Strategy

Canada's UPR#3. Check out the Key UPR Recommendations

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.

Bruce Porter is the Executive Director of SRAC. Bruce has spearheaded advocacy initiatives addressing poverty, the right to housing and the rights of undocumented migrants both in Canada and internationally as well as publishing a significant number of articles and book chapters.  He has recently co-edited two books: Advancing Social Rights in Canada and The Optional to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Commentary. He has co-ordinated strategic litigation on social rights in Canada and internationally, including many interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Bruce was a founding member ESCR-Net – an international network of NGOs and advocates for economic, social and cultural rights, a member of Steering Committee of the Strategic Litigation Working Group and of the Coalition for the OP-ICESCR

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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 recent Thematic Report on on Rights-Based Housinjg Strategies

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

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

Other International Initiatives

Petition to the UN Human Rights Committee results in ground-breaking decision in Toussaint v Canada. Canada violated the right to life by denying irregular migrants access to essential healthcare. Read more.

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

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

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

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

 

Litigation Support 

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

See the amazing Decision !!!!

CWP v AG Canada 20180716

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

 

National Housing Strategy

Grounding Canada's New National Housing Strategy in the Right to Adequate Housing

See the "DRAFT LEGISLATION, the Ideas Paper,and the Consensus Proposals.

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

Canada's Third Universal Periodic Review

Cross country Engagement Sessions with Government Officials Regarding the Recommendations to Canada

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

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

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

Publications

SRAC publications and working papers.

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

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

For documents and further information on this case click here.

For


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

For commentary and documents on Taypotat case click here.

For commentary and documents on the Toussaint Fee Waiver case click here

 

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

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.