Mission and Governance

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established the vision and principles which recognize the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights. This vision means that people are guaranteed civil and political freedom as well as economic and social well-being.

Economic, social and cultural rights concern essential values for a life of dignity and freedom - work, health, education, food, housing, and social security amongst others. People throughout the world share the struggle to make these human rights a reality for themselves, their families, communities, and nations.    

Mission Statement
ESCR-Net — The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a collaborative initiative of groups and individuals from around the world working to secure economic and social justice through human rights. ESCR-Net seeks to strengthen the field of all human rights, with a special focus on economic, social and cultural rights, and further develop the tools for achieving their promotion, protection and fulfillment. Through ESCR-Net, groups and individuals can exchange information, develop a collective voice, amplify their actions, develop new tools and strategies. By facilitating joint actions, enhancing communications and building solidarity across regions, the network seeks to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.    

Goals and Principles
As a network that seeks to promote and advance economic, social and cultural rights, ESCR-Net works towards the following goals

  • To develop a flexible, supportive, and decentralised structure that enables groups from different parts of the world pursuing common interests in human rights and social justice to work together. The primary means to achieve this goal is through the operation of thematic working groups, which enable groups to share strategies and approaches as well as initiate joint projects and actions for the promotion and defense of economic, social and cultural rights.
  • To enhance the capacity of groups, organizations, activists and other actors, including, but not limited to women, marginalized groups, social movements, grassroots and social justice groups, to use human rights as a tool to strengthen their own work.
  • To establish direct links between groups from different parts of the world to strengthen and support each other's work, and create a capacity to work in dynamic ways together, through a variety of means which include: exchanging information, coordinating actions, developing common agendas or strategies, creating new tools and joining national and international advocacy efforts.
  • To build the field of ESCR, and to facilitate the development of a collective voice on important ESCR issues worldwide.    

Across 75 countries, over 280 Members—grassroots groups, social movements, NGOs, academic centers and advocates—continue to be united by this mission and guided by related core principles, including:

  • Advancing all human rights, as universal, indivisible and interdependent, with a focus on ESCR issues;
  • Ensuring regional and gender balance in leadership, intersectional gender analysis, and the centrality of grassroots groups and social movements;
  • Grounding network activities in the lived experience of people resisting ESCR violations, and advancing concrete, collective actions able to affect systemic change;
  • Striving for shared analysis and consensus in decision-making as a member-led network, but respecting the autonomy of individual participants' positions.