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Many countries are writing new constitutions. This provides an important opportunity to
enshrine the basic human rights of all citizens. Despite the rhetoric on the indivisibility of
human rights, while most constitutions recognise civil and political rights as fundamental,
they place economic and social rights under ‘directive principles’ of state policy, making
them less ‘justiciable’. However, some countries have constitutions that guarantee specific
socio-economic rights, and the challenge is to make sure that citizens are able to exercise
these constitutional rights.