10% OF POPULATION
worldwide live in extreme poverty (defined as less than $2 per person per day). Source
We live in an era of growing inequality, and of unprecedented levels of global poverty. The reality for billions of people around the world is a continuing and systematic lack of access to basic rights, with devastating consequences, each day, for the world’s poor.
The fight for the realization of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights has never been so vital, as the world and our future are imperilled by social inequality, rampant poverty, and environmental degradation.
We believe that it is the human rights framework, and ESC rights specifically, that has the power to fundamentally change the ways in which most people view global poverty.
There is a stark chasm between the standards which exist to protect ESC rights, and their actual enjoyment on the ground and in the daily life of so many. That is why our is so critical: we close the chasm between the standards which exist protecting ESC rights, and their actual implementation and enjoyment on the ground. We work together with the poor to claim their human rights.
Our focus is to ensure that those standards are informed by the realities of marginalized individuals, groups and communities, and interpreted to further their dignity and lives.
Ultimately, all human rights are interdependent and indivisible. We believe that the work we do to strengthen the realization of ESC rights also contributes to more inclusive and equitable societies.
ESC rights violations hit hardest those who are already most marginalized within society, namely women, indigenous peoples, displaced persons, children, and ethnic and racial minorities.
By transforming the basic structures that keep people disadvantaged and disempowered, ESC rights not only uplift individual lives, they also change societal power dynamics.
GI-ESCR advances the realization of ESC rights throughout the world, tackling the endemic problem of global poverty and social injustice through a human rights framework.
We use creative and collaborative strategies to target transformative impact, tackling big issues, that lead to tangible change in the lives of the world’s poorest people. By targeting the locus of power, abuse and injustice, we can fundamental change the systems and structures which maintain inequality and marginalization.
We focus on collaborative and dynamic partnerships with local, national, regional and international organizations. We strive to maintain geographic balance, working with partners across regions. This however, does not preclude GI-ESCR from acting on its own when need be, particularly in international advocacy.
GI-ESCR believes in amplifying the voices of local advocates by leveraging international law and mechanisms – and informing the content, meaning, and interpretation of international human rights norms from the perspectives of marginalized groups and communities.
This two-way exchange of information and advocacy results both in specific change at the local level and structural change within the international human rights normative framework, and a more intentional and profound symbiosis between the two.
With our partners, we think and act, globally and locally, where our work at one level is enriched by, and strengthens and supports the other.
What we do not work on is just as vital as deciding what we do work on. The question is critical to how we contribute to the strategic advancement of ESC rights, to our coherent identity as an organization, and to fostering positive and clear partnerships with others.
We recognize the important overlaps between social rights (i.e. housing, land, water and sanitation, health, education, etc.), economic rights (i.e. right to work and to favorable conditions of work), and cultural rights. In practice, while our work focuses primarily in social rights, we advocate for the importance and universality of the ESC rights framework as a whole.
Our ‘strategy screen’ as an organization therefore encompasses the following components:
- We ensure the work must first and foremost be transformative, scalable and replicable.
- We ensure the necessary internal capacity to engage effectively, or a strategy to acquire additional capacity.
- We fill unique niches and address gaps either by contributing to the advancement of ESC rights norms and standards that are innovative and pioneering, or by providing leadership where we have deep expertise, to promote ESC rights and their implementation.
- We focus on building normative development relevant to ESC rights or to improved implementation. We seek to work in areas where others are not already leading, or where we can meaningfully connect other sectors to human rights mechanisms.
- We advocate for the importance and universality of ESC rights framework as a whole.