Judicial Protection of the Right to Health in Colombia: From Social Demands to Individual Claims to Public Debates
Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev., 33, 431 (2010)
31 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2021
Date Written: 2010
Even in a region characterized by a number of countries with robust constitutions and judicial enforcement of social rights, Colombia stands out as a striking example of judicial activism regarding health rights. Better known outside the region for its brutal fifty-year-old civil conflict, it seems startling if not paradoxical that the Colombian Constitutional Court (the Court) has developed some of the most progressive jurisprudence in the world with respect to economic, social and cultural rights. The Colombian context indeed presents many contrasts: a long tradition of creating democratic institutions coexists with authoritarianism and alarming levels of political and social violence, and entrenched poverty persists despite years of strong economic growth.' The extreme social inequality in Colombia is reflected in its health statistics, where national averages mask deep disparities that run along urban versus rural divides, as well as racial, ethnic and class lines.
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