"...a five year research initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Community-University Research Alliance involving eight university and community partners"

New Publication


Martha Jackman & Bruce Porter (eds) Advancing Social Rights in Canada (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014)


From the Archives


1992 Alternative Social Charter



The Social Rights in Canada Project: Reconceiving Human Rights Practice for the New Social Rights Paradigm

A collaborative research initiative among four universities and four community based organizations

This community-based, participatory research is designed to establish conceptual and practical foundations for a new form of human rights practice – one that is capable of giving concrete effect to social rights within a broad range of settings

Researchers are developing innovative and strategic forms of social rights practice in both international and domestic venues.

In the international research, practices being explored include:

  • New petition procedures for social rights;
  • The Universal Periodic Review;
  • Aboriginal women‘s rights;
  • Country missions by UN Special Rapporteurs; and
  • New models for domestic implementation of social rights through anti-poverty and homelessness strategies.

New spaces for social rights practice in Canada include:

  • Creative test case litigation on issues of access to justice for social rights claims
  • Rights-based approaches to Housing and Anti-Poverty Strategies
  • Social rights and budget analysis;
  • Human rights impact assessment
  • The role of indicators;
  • Municipal human rights initiatives such as the right to the city movement;
  • The right to health under the Canadian Charter and in healthcare decision-making;

The research is:

Ensuring university research better addresses the needs of communities claiming social rights

Enabling community practitioners to share acquired expertise with students, university researchers and the broader community

Providing research in support of advocacy for social rights before courts and tribunals

Assessing and enhancing social riights accountability mechanisms through United Nations human rights bodies, intergovernmental agreement and domestic insitutions.

Developing innovative ideas to enhance social rights accountability locally, nationally and internationally.

Facilitating effective civil society networks to engage emerging opportunities for social rights accountability and practice in judicial, political and international spheres


Check out the CESCR 2016 Review of Canada

See Compilation Document and

CESCR Concluding Observations 2016


Nell Toussaint Responds to Canada re access to health care for irregular migrants. Gets support from Amnesty International and ESCR-Net




  • Inter-American Commission Releases Report on

  • CURA Researchers in news!
  • Martha Jackman awarded the CBA Touchstones Award for her advocacy for equality