On 24 and 25 June 2015, the ICJ and the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) organized a 2 day workshop at the A’Zambezi River Lodge in Victoria Falls, on Economic Social and Cultural (ESC) Rights.
It brought together legal practitioners and NGO representatives involved in the protection of economic, social and cultural rights.
The main objective of the workshop was to share knowledge on international and national standards for the guarantee and protection of ESC Rights.
The meeting also sort to consult practitioners on and validate the new ICJ guide on ESC Rights litigation in Zimbabwe.
The Guide on ESC rights seeks to give greater effect to the rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The 2013 Constitution contains a comprehensive bill of rights including ESC rights.
The Constitution includes important provisions and arrangements for the guarantee of accessible and effective remedies including judicial remedies for rights-holders whose rights are violated.
In adopting this new Constitution, Zimbabwe has joined the increasing group of States that have equipped themselves with a domestic law that guarantees and protects all human rights.
This integrates and converges with international human rights law, in respect of which there has been remarkable progress in recognizing the need for specific protection of various categories of rights-holders such as women, children or persons with disabilities.
Judges in domestic courts have a vital role to play in enforcing and interpreting national laws in compliance with the international human rights standards and obligations to which the State has committed.
Judges and lawyers will need enhanced knowledge of this framework and will benefit from comparative experiences in using it.
The guide seeks to respond to this context and these needs. It is this imperative that has also led to ICJ organizing this workshop.