Reimagining rights-based accountability: community use of economic and social rights

Chelsea Marshall; Kate Ward; Nicola Browne

These resources look at the work of ESCR-Net member Participation and Practice of Rights based in Northern Ireland (UK). 

In particular, the article attached explores the ways in which marginalised groups in Northern Ireland have employed and translated for practical use human rights standards, principles and mechanisms to campaign for the implementation of economic and social rights obligations. With the support of Participation and Practice of Rights, a regional nongovernmental organisation, marginalised groups have drawn upon human rights in their local context to campaign on issues related to mental health, housing, work and play. Based on case studies from four such campaigns, this article reviews the practical steps groups took to engage directly or indirectly with economic and social rights tools and mechanisms. The article reflects on the usefulness of these frameworks and mechanisms for achieving change in the case studies discussed, as well as the value of a human rights framework for empowering marginalised communities to make rights-based demands for change. It is argued that although the realisation of economic and social rights is limited in part by the lack of traditional enforcement mechanisms, communitydriven campaigns offer an opportunity for reimagining mechanisms for rights-based accountability.

The other three resources ('PPR Criteria' , 'Developing Indicators' and the case study on mental health) were developed in the context of the Tool4Action school run by PPR.