CESR's annual report for 2019 surveys the impact of our work in a year when millions around the world took to the streets. From Beirut to Santiago, people expressed outrage at growing inequality and precarity at a time when the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few billionaires reached a historic high. In this context, we challenged ourselves and others in the human rights movement to adopt a stronger critique of neoliberal systems, and squarely address the inequalities and rights deprivations these bring about.
For decades, CESR’s work has challenged many of the same disturbing trends the protests called attention to. This report shares some of the progress we made last year—in countries around the world, in international human rights and development spaces, and in the broader field of social justice activism which we serve.
The report highlights ways various ways our worked tackled inequality: exposing its fiscal roots, sharing skills to analyze it, strengthening collaborations to challenge it, and fostering commitments to reduce it. In particular, it describes our in-depth research showing how unjust fiscal policies fuel inequality and deprive people of their basic rights—in Ecuador, Egypt, Peru and South Africa. It celebrates crucial new alliances we’ve built with Indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders in the Andean region, sharing skills to support their efforts to connect fiscal policy concerns to their struggles against extractivism. It outlines some of the ways our work has influenced human rights oversight bodies, development forums, and international financial institutions to pay more serious attention to human rights in economic decision-making.