ESCR-Net Newsletter - November / December 2013

The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) involves over 250 Members in 68 countries, together building “a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.” 

  • Over 80 grassroots advocates and NGOs engaged in ESCR-Net’s first annual Peoples’ Forum on Human Rights and Business, co-hosted by FORUM ASIA in Bangkok, from November 5-7, deepening strategic exchange and coordination.
  •  ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group developed #UNForumWatch to follow and critique the live developments of the UN Forum on Business & Human Rights, and promoted the joint statement originating from the ESCR-Net Peoples' Forum on Human Rights & Business and signed by over 100 NGOs & social movements, calling for a binding international treaty to address corporate human rights abuses.
  • ESCR-Net took actions in support of the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community in Paraguay, requesting in a collective letter that the government take immediate steps to implement the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and restitute their lands, and in defense of Fundacion Pachamama after the Government of Ecuador closed their offices, following their advocacy with indigenous communities in opposition to new oil concessions without free, prior and informed consent.
  • The NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, together with ESCR-Asia, PhilRights, and PAHRA, facilitated a national forum for government representatives, diplomats and 40 civil society organizations to advance ratification of the Optional Protocol in the Philippines.
  • The NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR has also supported national workshops in Togo and Benin, a regional dialogue among governments and NGOs from nine countries organized by IWRAW-AP in Malaysia, and a series of actions celebrating the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Optional Protocol on December 10, including disseminating a video-message from Catarina de Albuquerque, Special Rapporteur on water and sanitiation.
  • The ESCR-Net Secretariat welcomed its first Communications Coordinator, Sergio Rozalén, in November; Sergio is a journalist, who worked for more than five years in the press department of the European Commission in Spain, and has developed media strategies for numerous NGOs and foundations via a public relations agency that he founded in Spain. He can be reached at

In January, the Adjudication Working Group and the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR will facilitate workshops in Nepal, from 13-15 January. The ESCR-Net Board will meet in Mexico City, from 27-28 January. A meeting for Members in Mexico will be organized on the afternoon of January 28. If you are in New York City or Montevideo, please let us know and visit the Secretariat.

 Follow us on Twitter: @ESCRNet and @opicescr - the NGO Campaign for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR.