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.

Changing Asylum and Immigration Policies, the Threat to Democracy in the European Union after September 11 and the Situation of Kurdish Refugees in the UK

As a non-governmental organization engaged in human rights issues that impact the lives of the dispossessed and marginalized in different parts of the world, the Europe-Third World Centre (CETIM) expresses grave concern that changes in asylum and immigration policies in the European Union in light of September 11 are severely undermining the fundamental rights of […]

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What does «defending the right to development» mean nowadays?

At this beginning of the 21st Century, we are confronted with an unprecedented growth in inequalities and a spectacular increase in the gap between the advanced countries and those of the Third World. The world’s richest 20% now get 86% of the world’s GDP, while the poorest 20% get 1%. The income of the world’s […]

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The Question of the External Debt of Southern Countries

Centre Europe-Tiers Monde (CETIM) and the American Association of Jurists have repeatedly raised the issue of the effects of external debt on the exercise of the right to development and economic, social and cultural rights; we have also proposed a number of reforms and mechanisms for bringing us closer to a solution to this stubborn […]

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Extreme poverty

Unofficial translation from the French We are witnessing this Commission on Human Rights a shift in semantics that may prove to become very harmful. For example, there is more and more talk of “extreme poverty” and less and less about “poverty”, or of “debt of the most indebted countries”, or of countries having “suffered a […]

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Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry

The above-listed non-governmental organizations are deeply concerned by the degradation of the economic, social and sanitary conditions in Iraq as a result of the embargo, and by the effects the contamination caused by the use of depleted uranium weaponry has on the population and the environment in Iraq. For these reasons, they organized a conference […]

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