Newsletter June 2022


English | Español | Français | العربية


June 2022



Racial Discrimination in Vaccines Roll-out, Right to Land, Closing the Human Rights Data Gap, and more…


Advocating for Vaccine Equity 


In response to the urgent appeal submitted by several ESCR-Net members and allies, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) issued a strong statement noting that the "pattern of unequal distribution of life-saving vaccines and COVID-19 technologies between and within countries manifests itself as a global system that privileges former colonial powers to the detriment of formerly colonized states and the descendants of enslaved groups”. The Committee specifically single out Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the US for blocking the temporary TRIPS waiver and/or failing to transfer related technologies.

+ Read more about the statement >>

Why it is significant

  • The Committee issued this statement as a part of its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure given the upcoming WTO Ministerial meetings (12-15 June) where it is anticipated that a decision on the TRIPS waiver request will be made. 
  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is binding on all states that have ratified, including those specifically named: Germany, Switzerland, the US, and the UK, who legally must comply with the treaty in good faith. 

More on Covid-19 advocacy

Since 2021, numerous ESCR-Net members alongside allies have undertaken a range of campaign and legal efforts in demanding a human rights approach to core pandemic health injustices:

More outcomes

The ongoing advocacy has resulted in other favorable pushes from UN special mandates holders, including:

  • Call on G7 Governments to ensure vaccine access.
  • 44 letters sent by UN experts to pharma companies, States, EU, and WTO calling for urgent action on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Pro-waiver statement to delegations to the World Trade Organization.



Related Resources

Backgrounder: Six Reasons Why a Trips Waiver Is Needed to Justly and Effectively End the Covid-19 Pandemic
Comic Series: The Power of the 99% to Stop Corporate Capture of our HealthCare Systems




Advocating for the Right to Land


As the planet’s biodiversity is in an unprecedented decline, world governments participated in March in the negotiations of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. There will be further intersessional discussions in June in Nairobi, Kenya, as governments try to reach a final agreement at UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in September. 

Ahead of the preparatory March talks, ESCR-Net members adopted a collective letter calling on all Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to recognize, respect, protect and promote the overarching right to self-determination, including free, prior and informed consent, the right to land and tenure rights in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

What's at stake

Indigenous Peoples, Tribal Peoples, peasants, and other land-dependent local communities play an outsized role in conserving biodiversity and combating climate change. Global data indicate that Indigenous and community rightsholders’ lands have lower rates of deforestation, store more carbon, and hold more biodiversity than lands managed by either government or private entities.

Therefore, failing to protect the rights of Indigenous and other communities, as central to any conservation targets, threatens both human rights and biodiversity.

Next steps

  • Significant progress was made in the draft text by including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and it was encouraging to see strong support from many States in this context.
  • However, much human rights-related text is still in brackets in key targets, particularly on references to territories and land of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as well as free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)





Centering Care in a Feminist Intersectional Approach to Loss and Damage





Closing the Human Rights Data Gap

Collective Position on Data for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


Developed by members of the Monitoring Working Group, the collective position on data seeks to be a concrete point of reference for Network members and broader civil society to advocate for data that centers rights-holders and affected communities in order to enable more inclusive, democratic, and effective decision-making.

+ Read the position>>

Reclaiming Our Stories 

In June 2020, ESCR-Net launched a community-led research initiative on the impacts of corporate actors on women's rights to land, housing, and natural resources. The project brings together seven grassroots groups from Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. On the project website, resources and tools are available to support the development and implementation of community-led research projects.




Systems of Solidarity 


We condemn the assassination of Nokuthula Mabaso, a leader of the eKhenana Commune and Abahlali Abahlali baseMjondolo Women's League in Durban, South Africa. Since March, this is the third killing of an Abahlali baseMjondolo leader. In a collective letter, ESCR-Net recently denounced the assassinations of Ayanda Ngila and Siyabonga Manqele. 

We stand in solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo and their struggle for dignity, land, and autonomy in South Africa.





  • Opinion: Vaccine inequity deepens structural racial discrimination.
  • Opinion: Unsustainable debt has always impeded development; it’s time to write it off.
  • Opinion: Feminist strike for the recognition and reinvention of the role of care in Latin America.



ESCR-Net — International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
370 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy

  Facebook   Twitter   Web   Instagram