Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

CETIM focuses on the promotion and implementation of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). They are the backbone of human rights and a powerful tool for achieving a self determinated development model by peoples. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable and marginalised populations. Properly implemented, these rights contribute to the respect for human dignity and to the achievement of social justice. On the contrary, the violation of any of them can jeopardise the enjoyment of all the others.

The universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights are enshrined in international instruments. Yet, we are still a long way from their effective implementation for all, and ESCR are among the worst off. Indeed, the basic needs (food, water, health, housing, education) of a third of humanity are still not being met. In some respects, the situation has even deteriorated, including in the countries of the North. This is due to the fact that the policies adopted at economic level accentuate ESCR violations and cause
– increased poverty
– growing inequality across the world
– multiple crises (political, economic, financial, environmental, social and cultural).

By definition, human rights are designed to protect citizens from the arbitrary actions of the most powerful and their governments

The international health crisis linked to COVID-19 has only exacerbated this situation. It has also shown the importance of implementing public policies based on ESCR. In particular, the right to health, the right to housing, the right to food, the right to water, the right to work, the right to education and the right to social security.

But for human rights to be better respected, they must be known, they must be demanded and they must be enforced. However, victims are often unaware of their rights and of the mechanisms available to them for appealing (at national, regional or international level). States, which have an obligation to inform and educate their citizens about human rights, often fail in their duties.

The role played by civil society organisations and social movements in human rights education and training is therefore crucial
– to denounce human rights violations
– to contribute to the implementation of existing standards.

Round table: Health, a right or a privilege?

Health is a global issue. Against a backdrop of multidimensional crisis, spiralling inequality and the wholesale privatisation of public services, medical deserts are on the increase, even in countries with high-performance health systems. Care is often inaccessible to the majority of humanity. Some so-called “rich” countries recruit medical staff trained in less wealthy countries, thus […]

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Economic, social and cultural rights finally part of the international agenda

Following the request of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights organised a workshop to discuss “practical ways to further enhance and strengthen” the work of this body “in promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities”.[1] CETIM participated in […]

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Peru: International plea against human rights violations

PRESS RELEASE Lima, Geneva, Brussels, December 7, 2023 – On December 7, 2022, the impeachment and imprisonment of peasant president Pedro Castillo and the arbitrary takeover of vice-president Dina Boluarte, with the support of the fujimorista bench and other right-wing parliamentary groups, took place in Peru. An event that resurfaced the historical social fractures of […]

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Human rights alert: military intervention in Haiti

PRESS RELEASE Geneva 4th October 2023 – CETIM and La Via Campesina express concern over foreign intervention in Haiti and demand human rights protection. The 2nd of October 2023, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of an international security force to supposedly fight gang violence and restore security. Social movements and peasants’ organizations have […]

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