Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the effectiveness of ‘naming and shaming’ by human rights organizations (HROs) on the enforcement of economic and social rights. I ask whether this method, initially developed to address civil and political rights, contributes to the realization of economic and social rights and to the reduction of economic and social inequities. To answer my research question, I focus on the right to housing in the case of Kenya. I do a qualitative analysis of naming and shaming efforts by HROs and the varied responses of the state to these efforts. In this case, I find that while naming and shaming encourages the state to make tactical concessions and even comply with certain norms, violations continue de facto. Moreover, noting that HROs have targeted the right to housing generally as well as specific violations, I find that while Kenya moves towards more progressive policies, laws and even Constitutions in general, this does not necessarily translate into progress at the level of specific violations. My research, then, reveals the benefits and limitations of naming and shaming on the enforcement of economic and social rights that I hope will help HROs understand the effects of their actions and allocate resources accordingly.

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