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Who We Are

We catalyze change for
ESC rights locally and globally.

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Who We Are

Gl-ESCR is a non-governmental organisation that believes transformative change to end endemic problems of social and economic injustice is possible only through a human rights lens.

Our Vision

Our vision is of a world where the human rights framework reflects the real world experiences of all of us, effectively furthering social and economic justice and human dignity, and catalyzing change from the local to the global, back to the local.


Our Mission

  • Strengthen the international human rights framework through creative standard-setting, so that the framework reflects the experiences, needs and aspirations of marginalized individuals, groups and communities.

  • Partner with advocates, social movements and grassroots communities at national and local levels to more effectively claim and enforce ESC rights, including by engaging international mechanisms for local impact.

  • Contribute to the effective implementation of ESC rights so that everyone is able to fully enjoy their ESC rights in practice, and are able to do so without discrimination and on the basis of equality.

  • Provide innovative tools to policy makers, development actors and others on the practical implementation and realization of ESC rights.

  • Enforce ESC rights through international, regional and national mechanisms and seek remedies for violations of these rights, with a focus on creating beneficial jurisprudence aimed at transformative change.

  • Engage networks of human rights, women’s rights, environmental and development organizations and agencies to advance the sustainable enjoyment of ESC rights at both national and international levels.

 


Part of the uniqueness of GI-ESCR is the role that it plays to defend rights on the global stage and it is distinctive for its focus, methods and strategies.
— GI-ESCR Board of Directors

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Meet the
GI-ESCR team

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GI-ESCR
governance

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GI-ESCR
success stories


Our Impacts

GI-ESCR has achieved ground-breaking outcomes and impacts. Our work has resulted in key policy decisions, judicial decisions and effective implementation of ESC rights at the national level.

We have worked closely with local partners to achieve ground-breaking pronouncements on the protections for women’s rights to land and productive resources, and their implementation. On extra-territorial dimensions of ESC rights, we have effectively raised awareness and strengthen standards around ETOs.

Through strategic litigation we have advanced new frontiers in economic, social and cultural rights, opening new avenues for the enforcement of certain aspects of social rights.

We have worked to deepen the research on the impact of the increasing role of private actors in social services, bringing greater attention and clarity to the obligation of States to protect and fulfill ESC rights.  

Throughout our work, we played a bridging role to ensure that human rights advocates have the opportunity and capacity to engage and infuse international human rights spaces with the experiences of rights holders on the ground.


Our History

View a list of all key achievements here.

LAUNCH OF GI-ESCR

OCTOBER 2010

The Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is launched.

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RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING

2011

GI-ESCR submits an individual complaint against Bulgaria to prevent a forced eviction in Sofia, the first of it’s kind before the HRC.

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RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING

2011

GI-ESCR plays a leadership role within the ESCR-Net Strategic Litigation Working Group, undertakes cases dealing with forced evictions in Kenya and first ever amicus curiae intervention under the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2012

GI-ESCR partners with FIDA-Kenya to draft a parallel report addressing Kenya’s obligations under the ICCPR

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EXTRA-TERRITORIAL OBLIGATIONS

2012

GI-ESCR intervenes with a Parallel Report to the UN HRC regarding violations of Germany’s extra-territorial obligations.

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PRIVATISATION IN EDUCATION

2012

GI-ESCR initiates work on the human rights impacts of privatization in education.

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LEGAL ADVOCACY

2012

The Concluding Observations on Germany from the UN HRC lay foundation for future advocacy before the Committee.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2013

GI-ESCR is a keynote speaker during CEDAW’s day of discussion on the Rights of the Rural Women.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2013

GI-ESCR works with partners for the adoption of the ACHPR’s ground breaking Resolution 262.

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RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING

2014

High Court of Kenya relies on amicus intervention by GI-ESCR to read international human rights standards into the understanding of the Constitution of Kenya.

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Extra-Territorial Obligations

2014

GI-ESCR files first Individual Complaint before the HRC dealing with ETOs in the context of corporate accountability.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2014

GI-ESCR presents parallel report to CEDAW on Swaziland regarding women’s land and property rights, partners “over the moon” with relevant Concluding Observations.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2014

GI-ESCR releases a new tool on Using CEDAW to Secure Women’s Land and Property Rights.

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PRIVATE ACTORS AND SOCIAL SERVICES

2014

GI-ESCR starts work on multi-country research and advocacy project, coordinated by PERI and in collaboration with the Right to Education Project.

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PRIVATISATION IN EDUCATION

2015

Work begins on the development of human rights Guiding Principles as it relates to the provision of education, including delivery by private actors.

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EXTRA-TERRITORIAL OBLIGATIONS

2016

GI-ESCR strategy advocacy work on ETOs culminates in the adoption of an official statement on austerity measures and public debt.

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WOMEN’S ESC RIGHTS

2016

In partnership with ESCR-NET, GI-ESCR releases publication “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at 50: The Significance from a Women’s Rights Perspective.

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PRIVATE ACTORS AND SOCIAL SERVICES

2017

GI-ESCR’s work with the francophone community in West Africa contributes to French Aid Minister issuing landmark statement against support of privatizing education in Africa.

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EXTRA-TERRITORIAL OBLIGATIONS

2018

Successfully advocate to have ETOs systemically monitored and enforced in General Comments and Recommendations by UN treaty bodies.

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Annual Reports


Our offices

+ Geneva

c/o International Service for Human Rights
Rue de Varembe 1
P.O. Box 16
CH-1211 Geneva 20 CIC
Switzerland

+ Nairobi

C/O East African Centre for Human Rights
House 4, Cedar Court,
Timau Road, Kilimani
Nairobi, Kenya

+ U.S.A

8 N. 2nd Avenue East
Suite 205
Duluth, MN  55802
U.S.A.