Strategy meeting on economic policy and human rights

Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018

On 8 – 10 February 2018, 23 ESCR-Net members from social movements and NGO members from around the world, came together for a three-day strategy meeting of the Economic Policy Working Group (EPWG) in Tunis, Tunisia. The primary aim of the meeting was to establish a two-year strategic plan for the working group.

The meeting was co-hosted by Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux (Tunisia) and guided by a project advisory group: Arab NGO Network for Development (Lebanon, MENA Region), Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (Zimbabwe), Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (Egypt), Kairos Center for Religion, Rights and Social Justice (USA), National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (Sri Lanka), and Otros Mundos (Mexico).

Members started the meeting by reviewing Network-wide shared objectives and core principles from ESCR-Net’s Global Strategy Meeting held November 2016 in Buenos Aires.

Kairos Center for Religion, Rights and Social Justice (USA) and the Asia Indigenous People’s Pact —as members of both the EPWG and Social Movement Working Group—gave an overview of the history of the Common Charter for Collective Struggle from 2014 to present. They spoke about the relevance of the document to their movements and discussed their struggles to confront the “common conditions” articulated in that document, while pointing to the Chater’s “emerging points of unity” to underscore the connections between them.

Grounded in the Common Charter for Collective Struggle as the starting point for future advocacy and campaign plans for the EPWG, members built on EPWG discussions from the Global Strategy Meeting and collectively agreed to prioritize work in the following for the next two years that:

  1. deepens and popularizes a human rights-based critique of the global economic system and structure, informed and guided by social movements and grassroots struggles;

  2. amplifies and advocates for shared alternatives to the dominant socio-economic model, grounded in lived experiences and local struggles, with an inclusive vision for realizing human rights and environmental justice, and

  3. strengthens the political and institutional constitution of the working group and the larger Network to fully understand and engage with economic policy from a human rights lens.

For more information about ESCR-Net’s Economic Policy Working Group contact Leanne Sajor.