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.

UN: Chile’s privatised water model once again called into question

PRESS RELEASE Geneva, October 3, 2023 – Chile has a unique water model in the world, based on the privatisation of water sources and management, which was inherited from the military dictatorship (1973-1990), was deepened during the transition to democracy and is still in place today. In other words, the industrial sector (active in agri-export, […]

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CETIM’s interventions at the UN

As an association acting as an interface between partner organisations and the UN international system, CETIM has continued to make use of the UN’s mechanisms for the protection of human rights in relation to different situations and specific violations. Here are some extracts. Repression, racism et rights violations of indigenous communities in Bogotá CETIM and […]

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