ESCR-Net expands Arabic communications and collective work in the Middle East and North Africa
ESCR-Net is deepening its outreach in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and strengthening connections with Arabic-speaking organizations and individuals working to advance ESCR.
The Network is fortunate for the longstanding leadership of several strong members in the region, who have helped to shape joint work on corporate accountability, women and ESCR, and other key issues. However, ESCR-Net’s ability to deepen engagement with a wider range of organizations and sustain communication in Arabic has, in the past, been limited.
Over the past few years, members in the MENA region, as well as all other regions, have expressed a strong desire to deepen cross-regional learning and collaboration. This desire was intensified in wake of the Arab Spring, which foregrounded intersecting and systemic issues of economic, political, social, civil and cultural rights violations, while highlighting the committed and creative yet embattled struggles of many civil society organizations.
In response, the Network is pleased to launch a new section of its website dedicated to an Arabic-speaking audience. Increasingly the website will feature news items about collective work and the work of members, as well as resources, member profiles and opportunities to get involved. Arabic twitter and Facebook accounts have also been created, to further facilitate dissemination and engagement of human rights activists in the region.
We are also pleased to welcome an ESCR-Net Membership and Program Facilitator for the MENA region. Via this position and the leadership of existing members in the region, the Network will work to build the membership and engagement of organizations from the MENA region in ESCR-Net by facilitating their participation in cross-regional learning, solidarity and collective advocacy. In turn, ESCR-Net’s Board and many members have stressed the importance of ensuring that perspectives and leadership from the MENA region is involved in building critical analysis of evolving global conditions and effective advocacy to realize human rights.
In the coming period, the Network envisions deeper involvement of MENA-based organizations and individuals working to promote ESCR in collective work around corporate accountability, economic policy and women’s rights, as well as amongst social movements and grassroots groups. Greater access to resources and events related to ESCR will be supported by increased translation of materials, and simultaneous interpretation of international events, into Arabic. The Network also looks forward to coordinating its first international meeting in the region in the coming months, in order to begin strategic conversations about the main challenges and opportunities for advancing ESCR in the MENA region.
The Network is grateful to the support of existing organizational members in the MENA region for their advice and support in carrying out the above-mentioned activities successfully.