Author: Rasec Niembro
Short Abstract The low professionalism of the judiciary is one of the hidden structural causes of extreme poverty in many regions, particularly in Latin America. Innovative mechanisms, like progress indicators on ESCR’s, can be the first step to overcome this situation.
Long Abstract The strength of international judicial systems in terms of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) is not reflected in the access and full enjoyment of those rights for the majority of the population in developing countries. The structural causes of poverty have often been studied and analyzed; however, the focus has rarely been directed to the existing mechanisms that allow any citizen, regardless of their socio-economic status, to appeal in cases where the State has failed to provide its citizens with full access to ESCRs,which are enshrined not only in the constitutions of most countries, but also in international conventions and treaties. The case of Latin America is the most representative of this problem. Even though Latin America is not the poorest region in the world, it is the most unequal. The Inter-American Human Rights System is one of the most developed in the world and recently, countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador have changed their constitutions to measure poverty in a multidimensional way. Despite these advances, the poorest citizens are highly unaware of the possibility they have to pressure their authorities through the courts so that their ESCRs are enforced. In addition, Latin American judicial systems have not carried out its responsibility to protect the laws and penalize governments in cases where they do not adequately execute what the law stipulates. The Progress Indicators of the Protocol of San Salvador is the inter-American defense mechanism of ESCRs; however, the lack of professionalism in the judiciary branch has limited its application. It is time to move this tool from the judicial arena to the civil society and give innovative and technical resources to every citizen, regardless of their economic and social condition.