Ecuador Constituent Assembly building
3 October 2008: Ecuador recently ratified a new Constitution including the right to housing, the right to the city, and the right to water and sanitation.
As a result, Ecuador now has the first Constitution in the world to recognise a) the right to adequate and dignified housing, b) a secure and healthy habitat, c) the right to the city and d) the right to water and sanitation.
As part of work to draft the new Constitution, COHRE’s Americas Programme and Right to Water Programme, together with various social organisations from Latin America, lobbied over a six month period for the recognition of these rights and participated in the preparation of proposals for Constitutional Articles on Housing, the City, Water, Public Services, territorial structuring and participatory planning.
By incorporating these rights into its Constitution, Ecuador ensures that its national law is in line with the international human rights obligations it has assumed. In practical terms, it also implies a greater degree of legitimacy and accountability, given that all of the policies and laws henceforth adopted in Ecuador will have to accord with these constitutional provisions.
For more information go here for a full version in Spanish of the new Constitution text.
The Articles of the Constitution relating to housing rights and the Right to the City are also available below (in Spanish).