For human rights protections to be progressive, expansive, and meaningful globally, international human rights norms must be informed by the perspective of rights holders, including marginalised or disadvantaged individuals, groups, and communities.
Key institutions such as the United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms, the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Commission, and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission play an important role in protecting economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights, and GI-ESCR engages with these institutions to make sure they are open and responsive to the needs most impacted by ESC rights violations.
GI-ESCR’s approach at the regional and international levels is focused on connecting local human rights activists to international human rights law and mechanisms so that they can leverage international human rights law for local impact.
We act as a bridge between those working on ESC rights at the local and national level, and with regional and international human rights mechanisms. Considerable time and effort is given to supporting partner NGOs to engage with the human rights mechanisms in Geneva (treaty bodies, special procedures and UPR, Human Rights Council), both to shape normative pronouncements and to ensure their effective implementation.
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We work with partners and NGO networks to identify opportunities for engagement with the human rights mechanisms, to participate in meetings and conferences and to come to Geneva to undertake advocacy with relevant stakeholders and mechanisms, and ensure that the voice of rights holders is heard in Geneva and other key human rights spaces.
The protection of ESC Rights is also dependent on strong, independent and effective human rights mechanisms. Together, with our cavity society colleagues we advocate, strengthen, and improve the effectiveness of human rights mechanisms. We also work closely with various human rights mechanisms, such as the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, to advocate for thematic focus, country visits, and support complaint processes.
In Geneva, we engage with States representatives to increase their understanding of and encourage promotion of ESC rights. A key component of this is to ensure opportunities for rights holders and advocates to directly brief State delegates of the situation on the ground.
The CESCR Yearbook provides an concise overview of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Right’s accomplishment each year.
Updates are published by GI-ESCR to provide a summary of the initiatives regarding economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights at each session of the Human Rights Council and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.