ESCR-Net Newsletter - July/August 2015

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The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) involves over 270 Members in 70 countries, together building “a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all”. 

The System of Solidarity (SOS) called for ending the arbitrary detention of a Mexican human rights defender who opposes a major hydroelectric project and expressed concern over the criminalization of multiple community leaders in Guatemala protesting mining projects on their land.

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The Corporate Accountability Working Group engaged in the first session of the United Nations’ open-ended intergovernmental working group in Geneva, working to shape the fundamentals of an international, legally-binding standard to address human rights violations involving corporations.

The Strategic Litigation Working Group co-organized a new meeting with more than 30 Endorois community leaders, in Nakuru, Kenya, to discuss registration, inclusion of women in the implementation process, and other aspects of enforcing the decision of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights that called for restitution of Endorois’ lands and compensation.

The NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) advocated ratification of the OP-ICESCR to strengthen access to justice via an event at the UN Human Rights Council, welcomed the support of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, and celebrated theratification of San Marino.

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The Women and ESCR Working Group brought together 35 African women’s rights advocates in Nairobi, Kenya, 16-18 June 2015, for the International Mechanisms to Claim Women’s ESC Rights in Africa: Regional Workshop and Strategic Exchange.

The Strategic Litigation Working Group, represented by Bruce Porter (SRAC) in Geneva, contributed to a general discussion of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) on the right to life, stressing the indivisibility of human rights and the positive obligations of States in relation to civil rights.


In brief

▪ Please visit the new NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR website, and plan to take action to advance ratifications on September 24th, the anniversary of opening to signature and ratification of the OP-ICESCR.
▪ Consider endorsing a new member-initiated SOS petition denouncing the threat of forced eviction and demolition of Bedouin villages in Israel.
▪ To learn more about the collective work of members and its growing impacts in advancing human rights, read ESCR-Net’s Annual Report.
▪ The Women and ESCR Working Group will host a global strategy meeting on Advancing Women’s ESCR: Alternative Visions of Development, Land and Property Rights, 26-28 August, in Uruguay.
▪ The Social Movements Working Group will bring together grassroots leaders from across the world for a gathering in Biloxi, Mississippi (US), 15-19 September, to deepen connections across struggles for social justice and dignity.