oa ESR Review : Economic and Social Rights in South Africa - If the grassroots lead, the government will follow lessons from the Vermont campaign for universal health care : updates

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1684-260X



Although Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt championed economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) in the 1940s, the United States has been ambivalent towards ESCR for the past few decades. The United States Constitution does not recognise such rights, and although President Jimmy Carter signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1977, the United States Senate has not yet ratified the treaty and is unlikely to do so in the near future. Notably, a similar situation exists in South Africa, which has yet to ratify the ICESCR, despite having signed it more than 16 years ago. Unlike the United States Constitution, however, the South African Constitution provides for justiciable socioeconomic rights.

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