ESCR-Net's Model of Work
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.
ESCR-Net - 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 (ESCR), and further develop the tools for achieving their promotion, protection and fulfillment. By facilitating joint actions, enhancing communication and building solidarity across regions, the Network seeks to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.
Launched in 2003, as “a collaborative initiative of groups and individuals from around the world working to secure economic and social justice through human rights,” a few principles have consistently guided ESCR-Net:
- Advancing of all human rights, as universal, indivisible and interdependent, with a specific focus on ESCR issues;
- Ensuring regional diversity, the centrality of grassroots groups and social movements, and gender balance in leadership and intersectional analysis;
- Grounding network activities in the lived experience of people affected by 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.
ESCR-Net Members—over 220 social movements, grassroots groups and NGOs, as well as 50 individual academics and advocates across 76 countries—“seek to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.”
Our Board is elected from and by Members based on principles of regional diversity, gender balance and inclusion of social movements.
ESCR-Net is led by Members, who build shared analysis, define strategies and undertake collective action, foremost through Working Groups, including: Women and ESCR, Corporate Accountability, Strategic Litigation, Economic Policy, Monitoring of ESCR and Social Movements. ESCR-Net Members also collectively take action through the System of Solidarity to stand with human rights defenders and communities under threat. For the past eight years, ESCR-Net has coordinated the NGO Campaign for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and. Working groups annually evaluate their progress, revise objectives, and prioritize collective actions as part of shared work plans.
Secretariat staff facilitate the strategic dialogue and joint advocacy of Members, with 14 staff members in New York City, Montevideo, Toronto, London and Cairo.
For further information regarding ESCR-Net’s basic framework, please see the Network’s Governance Document.