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Annex 2. Tool box: References to fundamental material on ESC rights 

Circle of rights

UN and Special Procedures

  • General comments

General comments of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) accessible at:

Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos en Guatemala, Capacitación Técnica en Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas Componente de Justicia del Programa Maya II, Manual Litigo Estratégico: “Estrategia General para los litigios de Alto Impacto”, accessible at:

  • CESCR in general

OHCHR CESCR page accessible at:

CESCR working methods accessible at:

CESCR Internal Rules of Procedure accessible at:

  • Special Procedures

List on Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council specialized in the area of ESC rights accessible at:

  • Human Rights Indicators

OHCHR, Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation, accessible at:

  • Human Rights Impact assessment

UN Guiding principles on human rights impact assessments of trade and investment agreements, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, UN doc. A/HRC/19/59/Add.5 (2011) accessible at:

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, UN doc. A/HRC/17/31 (2011), accessible at:

  • UN agencies

Information paper of the FAO Economic and Social Development Department on the “Recognition of the right to food at the national level” accessible at:

References to useful databases




References to International doctrine and expert legal documents

References to NGO work on

Justiciablity of ESC rights

Access to Justice – ICJ Studies on Access to Justice

Optional Protocol

ESC rights and the role of lawyers

Right to remedy and reparation


Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)


Documentation of violations


  • HURIDOCS Casebox: support for litigation NGOs which are looking for an integrated and web-based application to manage their caseload, accessible at:

Other useful civil society websites:

References to academic work on

Obligations under the ICESCR

  • Magdalena Sepúlveda, The Nature of the Obligations Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Intersentia, 2003.

Justiciability and ESC rights litigation

  • A. Nolan, B. Porter and M. Langford, “The Justiciability of Social and Economic Rights: An Updated Appraisal”, New York University center for human rights and global justice, Working Paper No. 15, 2007, accessible at:
  • Bruce Porter, “Justiciability of ESC Rights and The Right to Effective Remedies: Historic Challenges and New Opportunities” in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, 2008.
  • Bruce Porter and Martha Jackman, “Justiciability of Social and Economic Rights in Canada” in Malcolm Langford (ed.), Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in Comparative International Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, accessible at:
  • International Commission of Jurists, Courts and the Legal Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Comparative Experiences of Justiciability, Human Rights and Rule of Law Series No. 2 (2008), accessible at:
  • Malcolm Langford, Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in Comparative and International Law, Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 2008.
  • Malcolm Langford, “Judging Social Rights”, Human Rights Tribune, 11(3), 2005, accessible at:,%20No.3%20Autumn%202005.pdf
  • Malcolm Langford and Aoife Nolan, Litigating Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Legal Practitioners Dossier, Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, 2006, accessible at:
  • Malcolm Langford and Bret Thiele (eds.), Litigation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: The State of Play, The University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2005.
  • M. Langford, B. Thiele, and J. Squires (eds.), Road to a Remedy: Current Issues in Litigation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Sydney: UNSW Press, 2005), accessible at
  • M. Langford, C. Rodriguez and J. Rossi (eds.), Making it Stick: Compliance with Social Rights Judgments in Comparative Perspective, Pretoria University Law Press, Capetown, 2014.
  • Sandra Liebenberg, “The protection of economic and social rights in domestic legal systems”, in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 2001.
  • Sandy Liebenberg and Karrisha Pillay, Socio-economic Rights in South Africa: A Resource Book, Community Law Centre (University of Cape Town), 2000.


  • Magdalena Sepúlveda, “La justiciabilidad de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales frente a la supuesta dicotomía entre las obligaciones impuestas por los pactos de Naciones Unidas”, en Cantón, O. y Corcuera, S. (coords.). Derechos económicos, sociales y culturales. Ensayos y materiales, México: Universidad Iberoamericana, Porrúa, 2004, pp. 109–148.
  • Malcom Langford (ed.), Teoría y jurisprudencia de los derechos sociales: Tendencias incipientes en el derecho internacional y comparado, Universidad de los Andes and Siglo del Hombre Editores, Bogotá, 2012.
  • Martín Abregú and Christian Courtis (eds.), La aplicación de los tratados sobre derechos humanos por los tribunales locales, Editores del Puerto, 2004.
  • Víctor Abramovich and Christian Courtis, Derechos sociales: instrucciones de uso, Fontamara, 2003.
  • Víctor Abramovich and Christian Courtis, El umbral de la ciudadanía: el significado de los derechos sociales en el Estado social constitucional, Editores del Puerto, 2006.
  • V. Abramovich, C. Courtis and L. Ferrajoli, Los derechos sociales como derechos exigibles, Vol. 2, Trotta, Madrid, 2002.


  • Diane Roman, Justiciabilité des droits sociaux: vecteurs et resistances, Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 2012.

Optional Protocol

Conceptual development of the content of ECS rights

  • On the right to work: R. Sastre Ibarreche, El derecho al trabajo (Madrid: Trotta, Madrid, 1996)
  • On the right to health: B. Pezzini, “Principi costituzionali e politica della sanità: il contributo della giurisprudenza costituzionale alla definizione del diritto sociale alla salute”, and M. Andreis, “La tutela giurisdizionale del diritto alla salute”, in: C.E. Gallo and B. Pezzini, (comps.), Profili attuali del diritto alla salute (Milano: Giuffrè, 1998).

Reasonableness and resource implications

  • B. Griffey, The‘ Reasonableness’ Test: Assessing Violations of State Obligations under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in Human Rights Law Review 11:2 (2011), pp.275-327.
  • B.Porter, The Reasonableness of Article 8(4)- Adjudicating Claims from the Margins, Nordic Journal for Human Rights, Vol.27, No.1, 2009, pp.39-53.

Procedural issues

  • R. de C. Mancuso, Açao Civil Pública, Ed. Revista dos Tribunais, São Paulo, 1999, pp. 46–55
  • M.F.M. Leal, Açoes Coletivas: História, Teoria e Prática, Porto Alegre: Sergio Fabris, 1998, pp. 187–200.

Relevance of criminal law for ESCR

  • Evelyne Schmid, “Taking Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Seriously in International Criminal Law”, Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014.

Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • De Schutter, O. Eide, A. Khalfan, A. Orellana, M. Salomon, and I. Seiderman, “Commentary to the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly, 34(4), 2012, pp. 1084-1169, accessible at:
  • On hypothetical cases: R. Künnemann, “Extraterritorial Application of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in Coomans, Fons, and Menno T. Kamminga (eds.), Extraterritorial application of human rights treaties. Vol. 2. Intersentia, Antwerp, 2004; and Gibney, Mark, and Wouter Vandenhole (eds), Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations: Alternative Judgments, Routledge, 2013.

Law clinics at university offering support in preparing and accompanying litigation

Useful contacts/links

UN Treaty Bodies

Information on submission of a complaint to a Treaty Body accessible at:

European Court of Human Rights and European Committee on Social Rights

African Commission and Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights,,

Strategic Litigation

On ETO cases