Agenda: Beyond Boundaries

 
Allying human rights with other struggles for economic and social justice
 
Hotel Libertador, Lima, Peru
29 – 31 August 2018
 
AGENDA 
 
OBJECTIVE
 
To foster effective cross-field collaborations between economic and social rights advocates and other progressive movements working to advance economic, social and environmental justice, by generating a shared understanding of the benefits, impacts and challenges of cross-field collaboration and of the conditions and approaches which enable it.
 
OUTCOME
 
An agenda for supporting effective cross-field collaboration between the economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) field and critical allies working for economic, social and environmental justice, identifying concrete opportunities for taking forward such collaboration.
 
PROCESS
 
1. Discuss the rationale for and value of greater inter-sectoral collaboration, analyzing the ways in which ESCR advocacy and struggles from other fields for economic and social justice can be mutually reinforcing, with a focus on what human rights can bring to the quest for accountability in the economic, social, environmental and development spheres
2. Review the challenges to effective cross-field collaborations, for example how disciplinary barriers, divergences of vision and funding silos have often served to undermine interconnections across fields, cementing rather than transcending boundaries
3. Examine specific case examples of effective cross-field collaborations for collective action in key areas related to economic and social rights in order to distill lessons and unpack what facilitated collaboration and made them impactful or hindered their expected impact
4. Generate a road map and specific opportunities to foster cross-field collaborations, assembling the insights from the case examples and participants’ experiences into recommendations for the multiple actors seeking to engage in and support effective cross-field collaborations for human rights and economic and social justice, including CSOs and philanthropic organizations
 
 
DAY ONE: Wednesday 29th August
 
Morning: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
 
• Welcome and introductions
• Why this gathering? Objectives, methodology and outcomes
• Making visible the interconnections in the room: Step to the line exercise
 
Session 1: Exploring benefits and barriers to collaboration: views from the intersections
This session aims to build a shared understanding of the need for closer cross-field collaborations to realize the unfulfilled promise of economic and social rights, and to begin to identify practices, principles and behaviors that make such collaborations effective. Why is working across boundaries so essential for achieving accountability and impact in the economic, social and environmental spheres? What are the opportunities and challenges of working across boundaries and arenas of struggle? How have inter-sectoral initiatives forged convergences around visions of change, strategy and methodology, and how have they navigated divergences and built mutual trust? What role have funders played in supporting or undermining linkages across sectors?
 
• Reflection from bridge-builders from different fields, followed by interactive discussions.
 
Coffee break
 
Session 2: Drawing out lessons from practice: A collective analysis of points of intersection and dimensions of collaboration
This session will begin with an exercise sketching out a collective mapping of critical points of intersection between ESC rights and socio-economic justice advocacy. It will also explore the rationale for focusing on three particular nodes of intersection: the struggles (1) for fiscal justice, (2) for climate and environmental justice, and (3) for alternative development paradigms. These represent key arenas of struggle around the unjust distribution of resources – whether financial or natural– which are at the structural root of many economic and social rights deprivations. The convening will draw out lessons from specific collaborative initiatives in each of these areas of intersection, while also identifying other existing or potential areas of cross-sectoral collaboration to which participants are connected. This session will also allow opportunity for further discussion (in smaller groups) of the dimensions of collaboration where cross-fertilization can enhance collective action. 
 
These dimensions will form the proposed framework of analysis for the case-studies presented:
  • Bridging frames: how have cross-movement collaborations sought convergence (and reconciled divergence) in their distinct concepts of justice, normative frameworks, discourses and narratives? What new frames and narratives have emerged as a result?
  • Pooling knowledge: how has cross-movement collaboration led to inter-disciplinary knowledge-sharing and cross-fertilization in research approaches and tools of analysis?
  • Enriching strategies: how has cross-movement collaboration enabled different sectors to broaden their understanding of where and how change happens, and to deploy new strategies for mobilization, influencing and accountability?
 
Lunch 1:00pm - 2:00pm
 
Afternoon: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
 
Session 3: Human rights in the struggle for redistributive fiscal justice
In recent years, a range of actors from the fields of human rights/women’s rights, development, tax justice and budget transparency have increasingly joined forces to tackle the rampant inequality and deprivation resulting from the unjust tax and budget policies skewed towards the rich, including regressive fiscal austerity measures, and to campaign together against tax abuse and illicit financial flows draining poorer countries of resources needed to invest in human rights and sustainable development. Impacts and learnings from these collaborations will be presented in plenary by four participants playing a leading role in building bridges across these movements, drawing on specific initiatives.
 
  • Case study: “Framing tax abuse as human rights abuse” - plenary
The Lima Declaration on Tax Justice and Human Rights drawn up in 2015 was the outcome of a gradual process of convergence among human rights, tax justice and development actors seeking to explore how human rights norms and accountability mechanisms can be brought to bear in tackling tax injustice. The Declaration spurred a range of collaborative initiatives which have helped to refreame tax abuse as human rights abuse and to hold states and IFIs accountable for unjust tax policies through a variety of different forums.
 
With Luis Moreno (Latindadd), Liz Nelson (Tax Justice Network), Imad Sabi (OSF/ex-Oxfam Novib) and Gaby Oré Aguilar (CESR)
 
Coffee break
 
• Break out group discussion
Using the case-study and other initiatives around fiscal justice as a spring-board, each break out group reflects on one of the three dimensions of collaboration (bridging frames, pooling knowledge and enriching strategies) to analyze how cross-fertilization worked in each, which factors enabled or hindered it, and what approaches were used to overcome the challenges identified. Other fiscal justice initiatives that participants will draw on in the break out groups include the Reframing Public Finance initiative (IBP); the Stop the Bleeding campaign (TrustAfrica); and movements against austerity in Brazil, Egypt and Tunisia (INESC, EIPR and OTE).
 
• Weaving together insights from break out groups - plenary
 
 
DAY TWO: Thursday 30th August
 
Morning: 9:00am – 1:00pm
 
Session 4: Human rights in the struggle for climate and environmental justice 
Climate change and environmental degradation pose existential threats to the planet and therefore to the rights of humanity as a whole. While environmental activists have invoked human rights language for decades, and the right to a healthy environment has been increasingly codified and advanced by human rights advocates, it is indigenous peoples’ movements which have most profoundly enriched the connections between human rights and environmental justice, connecting their struggle for cultural rights with mobilization against climate change, the protection of biodiversity and the defense of land rights.
 
  • Case study: “Indigenous women forging cross-sector alliances against climate change” – plenary
Over the past years, indigenous women have become more visible in global processes and debates on climate change, raising awareness about the particular relationship between indigenous people's lives, climate, biodiversity, food security and the sustainability of their ways of life. The participation of indigenous women in these processes has proved impactful, as can be seen, for example, in the Gender Action Plan resulting from COP 23. They have worked across a range of advocacy processes from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and COPS to local debates. Moreover, they have played a "connective" role in forging cross-sector alliances for climate and environmental justice working together with advocates for biodiversity, gender equality, food security and human rights, among others.
 
With Joji Carino (Forest People's Programme, Philippines) and Tarcila Rivera (Chirapaq, Peru)
 
Coffee break
 
• Break out group discussion - "Story Corp"
Several small break out groups will each have a 'story teller' who shares their experiene working in this area of convergence, based on prompt questions from a 'story gatherer'. A group rapporteur will capture the story and the insights it sheds on the benefits, challenges and enabling conditions of cross-movement collaborations. Experiences from participants that will be explored in these groups include initiatives related to land rights, food security, natural resources, climate justice, indigenous peoples' rights and environmental rights.
 
• Weaving together insights from break out groups - plenary
Using insights from the break out groups, participants will collectively discuss the three dimensions of collaboration (bridging frames, pooling knowledge and enriching strategies) to analyze the impacts of cross-movement collaboration in this field of intersection, which factors enabled or hindered it and what approaches were used to overcome challenges identified.
 
Lunch: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
 
Afternoon: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
 
Session 5: Human rights in the quest for alternative economic and development paradigms
The consolidation of the normative architecture of economic and social rights has coincided with the entrenchment of neoliberal economic and social policies. Three decades of deregulation and privatization, of austerity and structural adjustment, and of the weakening of the welfare state and of organized labor, have meant an escalation in economic inequality and deprivation in countries of the global North and South. Feminist and heterodox economists, development advocates, trade union activists and human rights organizations have increasingly joined forces to bring unjust economic models under the lens of human rights scrutiny, and to propose alternative visions of an economy at the service of the rights of all rather than the privileges of the few. The recent renewal of the global Agenda for Sustainable Development has also opened opportunities to strengthen inter-sectoral efforts to propose more transformative development paradigms and to advance rights-centered responses to the growing concentration of income and wealth. This session will highlight collaborative, groundbreaking attempts to take on corporate power, propose new forms of social contract between people and State, workers and market, and tackle entrenched systems of patriarchal exploitation.
 
  • Case study: “Feminist movements challenging development paradigms
For decades now, feminist and women's rights groups have been challenging the mainstream practices, philosophies and principles of 'development (as technocratic, donor-driven, focused on economic growth, etc). The women's movement has been at the vanguard of forging cross-movement alliances and inter-disciplinary research collaborations and campaigns. The efforts of the women's movement to rewrite development paradigms poses a particularly enlightening case study for looking at the transformational potential of working beyond boundaries - but also the obstacles an drisks. 
 
With Cecilia Alemany-Billorou (DAWN), Sizani Ngubane (Rural Women's Movement) and Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani (AWID)
 
Coffee break
 
• Break out group discussion - World Café
Three groups will be formed and one project or initiative will be shared in each group, with the goal of drawing our insights about collaboration from eah. The three projects being shared are: A New Social Contract in the US (NESRI); The National Minimum Wage Research Initiative in South Africa (IEJ); and Challenging Corporate Capture (Africa Platform/BHRRC).
 
• Weaving together insights from break out groups - plenary
 
 
DAY THREE: Friday 31st August
 
Morning: 9:00am – 1:00pm
 
Session 6: Towards a road map for effective cross-field collaborations
This session will review the insights generated over the two days through the initial reflections on the promise and barriers to cross-movement collaboration, and the deep dives into the three areas of convergence to generate practical, grounded insights about the 3 dimensions of collaboration. It will explore the implications for different actors - what do people and organizations need to do differently to foster effective collaboration? And it will discuss proposals on how to share what has been generated here.
 
• Towards a synthesis on (1) emerging points of intersection where cross-field collaborations are starting to take shape, and the impact they are having; (2) the dimensions of collaboration enhanced by cross-fertilization; (3) key enablers and inhibitors of collective action, and strategies for overcoming challenges identified.
• Exploration of potential design principles for cross-field collaboration
• Teasing out actionable recommendations for actors seeking to engage in and support effective cross-field collaborations including CSOs and philanthropic organizations
 
Conclusions and proposed follow up to the convening
 
1:00pm End of meeting and lunch