This Guide will inspire and help judges and lawyers working at national level to litigate cases involving economic, social and cultural rights.

In particular, it aims at giving examples from a large variety of countries and jurisdictions of how courts and other bodies have dealt with the adjudication of these rights.

The Guide also addresses issues that legal practitioners are faced with at the different phases of litigation, from initiating a case and evidence building to the provision of remedies and the enforcement of judicial decisions.

Please note, that this Guide is an updated version of Courts and the Legal Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Comparative Experiences of Justiciability.

In addition to the electronic version of the Guide in a book format, the ICJ has also launched a searchable online version that is accessible on the ESCR page.

This 'Right to Education Info Packet' on Tanzania aims at informing  about the right to education, its legal, political, and social considerations, and some examples of its potential uses in litigation.

Laws are not only regulations the government enforces upon the people; they are regulations the people are to enforce upon the government. Laws just do not magically change things; they are tools to be used in court to hold others accountable so as to bring about change. Thus, it is the objective of this publication not to fill your head with heaps of information about a right that you cannot achieve but to enlighten you on tools that exist and how you may use them to attain your rights.

The 'Info Packet' provides guidance to litigate issues related to free primary education, expulsion of pregnant students, corporal punishment and education financing.

These Guidelines were developed to assist countries wishing to assess the compatibility of their national education laws and policies with international standards. The booklet aims to provide guidance on national education legal and policy frameworks.

Ceci est le document nº1 des 3 documents conçus pour présenter le récent travail de recherche et de plaidoyer mené par l’Initiative mondiale pour les droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, en partenariat avec les organisations de la société civile dans 7 pays du monde, ainsi que l’Initiative sur la privatisation de la recherche dans l’éducation et le Right to Education Project. Le travail examine de façon critique les effets de la privatisation de l’éducation en utilisant des mécanismes des droits de l’homme. Les documents sont conçus pour servir d’introduction à ce travail et l’Initiative mondiale pour les droits économiques, sociaux et culturels peut apporter d’autres ressources, des informations et une aide à quiconque souhaiterait s’engager dans cette étude. 

Accéder au document n°2: Comment utiliser les mécanismes des droits de l’homme

Accéder au document n°3: Études de cas sur les rapports parallèles pour faire face à la privatisation de l’éducation

ENGLISH

This guide, issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), focuses on how civil society can follow up on recommendations of United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms and mandates or bodies.

While many authorities can tolerate some traditional campaigning methods, it is usually harder to ignore the law. As part of broader campaigns, the law can be a powerful tool for achieving the changes that children need. Legal advocacy is now being used systematically in a few countries – leading to strong outcomes for children – and it has great potential for wider use.

There are many occasions for legal advocacy. International law sets out the principles and standards that states are obliged to meet but frequently do not, and so their domestic law violates children’s rights. Often, a state meets a standard in domestic legislation but its policy fails to implement the law. Sometimes, it is unclear what a law means in practice, or the meaning is clear but no one knows whether it is being implemented. These various gaps between international legal standards, domestic law and state policy (or corporate policy) present potential opportunities for legal advocacy.

There are also many avenues for legal advocacy. It is a broad term, not limited to taking rights violators to court. Many small-scale legal activities can enhance traditional campaigning, such as reporting on the implementation of a law, or raising awareness of what the law says. Sometimes, simply documenting and publicising the gaps between law and practice is enough to persuade decision-makers to act. But only sometimes. Towards the other end of the spectrum is work that demands more time and resources, including taking a government or corporation to court in order to bring broader social change. A successful case might improve the legal standards that apply to children, or lead to a major policy change of long-term benefit to children.

This introductory guide offers a brief overview of avenues for legal advocacy. It also offers guidance on how to explore your options, and how to promote legal advocacy work with other children’s rights advocates.

Key resource

Education is a fundamental human right of every woman, man and child. In states’ efforts to meet their commitments to making the right to education a reality for all, most have made impressive progress in recent decades. With new laws and policies that remove fees in basic education, significant progress has been made in advancing free education. This has led to tens of millions of children enrolling for the first time and the number of out of school children and adolescents falling by almost half since 2000. Important steps have also been taken with regard to gender parity and states have made efforts to raise the quality of education through improved teacher policies and a growing emphasis on learning outcomes. 

Despite these efforts, breaches of the right to education persist worldwide, illustrated perhaps most starkly by the fact that 262 million primary and secondary-aged children and youth are still out of school. Girls, persons with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds or rural areas, indigenous persons, migrants and national minorities are among those who face the worst discrimination, affecting both their right to go to school and their rights within schools.

To respond to the challenges, the Right to Education Initiative (RTE) with UNESCO have developed this handbook to guide action on ensuring full compliance with the right to education. Its objective is not to present the right to education as an abstract, conceptual, or purely legal concept, but rather to be action-oriented. The handbook will also be an important reference for those working towards the achievement of SDG4, by offering guidance on how to leverage legal commitment to the right to education as a strategic way to achieve this goal.