Who We Are
The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is an international nongovernmental organization that fights poverty and inequality by advancing human rights as guiding principles of social and economic justice. Working in collaboration with partners around the world, CESR uses international human rights law as a tool to challenge unjust economic policies that systematically undermine rights enjoyment and thereby fuel inequalities. Our international and interdisciplinary staff team based in New York and Johannesburg comes from the human rights, development and social justice movements in different parts of the world.
What We Do
Our work seeks to tackle the unjust distribution of resources and power—within and between countries—that fuels inequality and deprives billions of people of their rights. We seek systemic change. This includes steady progress on the policy and institutional reforms that can help shift the dynamics affecting how resources and power are distributed. We focus specifically on economic and social rights—among them the rights to education, health, food, water, housing and work—as powerful but underutilized tools for redressing skewed distributions of resources and power.
How We Work
CESR produces cutting-edge collaborative research on how economic and social systems affect people’s rights. We marshal that research in advocacy with international, regional, and national institutions, to influence policy in rights-responsive ways. We use the insights from that work to build the body of knowledge, analytical skills, and tactical repertoire that others in the broader human rights, economic justice and environmental justice fields can draw on in their research and advocacy. In doing so, our hope is that growing coalitions of civil society organizations, social movements, oversight bodies, and policy influencers will tackle the socioeconomic justice dimensions of human rights in their work—aligning around common messages and agendas and collaborating on shared approaches. We are proud of our unique partnership model, built on values that include collaboration, mutual learning, and solidarity.