Allying human rights with other struggles for economic and social justice
International convening hosted by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
Lima, 29 – 31 August 2018
In recent years, ESC rights organizations including CESR have sought to strengthen collaboration with actors in other fields who are working for economic and social justice using frameworks, discourses and methods different from those of the human rights movement – yet potentially convergent with them. These sectors include heterodox economists, development and tax justice advocates, trade unionists, environmental, land rights and climate justice activists, and social movements working for gender, racial and other dimensions of equality.
Such collaborations have helped take human rights arguments and strategies into new arenas, from community development councils to the halls of the IMF, boosting the reach and effectiveness of socioeconomic rights advocacy. And they have also supported struggles for tax, environmental and development justice by informing new understandings of what such justice looks like, leveraging the human rights framework as a vehicle for challenging unjust policies and practices, and holding those responsible to account.
Beyond Boundaries brings together representatives from these different fields, as well as members of the human rights community who have been working beyond the boundaries of the human rights ecosystem, to explore how inter-disciplinary collaboration can enrich strategies and methodologies for advancing human rights accountability in the socioeconomic sphere. The objective is to identify concrete opportunities and strategies for fostering more dynamic engagement between the human rights movement and actors working for economic and social justice in the pursuit of common or convergent goals.
The meeting will explore specific examples of cross-sectoral collaboration in three broad areas:
• Climate and environmental justice: including how human rights can be more effectively deployed in struggles over access to land, food and natural resources, and in efforts to combat climate change
• Fiscal and economic justice: including emerging alliances between human rights and tax/budget justice activists addressing the unjust distribution of resources, and connections to trade union movements defending workers' rights as labor’s share of income declines worldwide
• Development alternatives: including the human rights community’s relationships with actors advancing new economic and sustainable development paradigms, and proposing transformative social protection models
Beyond Boundaries will reflect on specific examples of inter-disciplinary collaboration from each of these areas, so as to analyze factors conducive to the success of such initiatives, the challenges faced and lessons learned.
The Center for Economic and Social Rights is an international NGO based in New York and Lima which has been working since its inception in 1993 for the recognition and protection of economic and social rights. Beyond Boundaries is being organized with the support of the Open Society Foundations.