Biennial Report 2019-2020
Magdalena Sepúlveda is a human rights lawyer with vast experience in economic, social and cultural rights. In her 20-year career, Magdalena has focused on the intersection of poverty, development and human rights and has bridged research and policy formulation. She has worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as the Co-Director of the Department of International Law and Human Rights of the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and as a Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy, in Geneva. More recently, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
From 2008 to 2014 she was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. From 2013 to 2017 she was a member of the High-Level Panel of Expert on Food Security and Nutrition of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). In 2015, she was recognised in the Global Tax 50, a list of individuals and organizations with the biggest impact on taxation worldwide. Magdalena is a member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and of the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.
Magdalena has published widely on human rights, poverty, gender and development and has taught university courses in Latin America and the United Kingdom. She writes frequent op ed columns and her pieces have been published in more than 30 countries.
Magdalena holds a Ph.D. in International Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, an LL.M in human rights law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and a post graduate diploma on comparative constitutional law from the Universidad Católica de Chile.
Magdalena is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
José is the Deputy Director of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He is a human rights lawyer with vast experience in human rights law from diverse sectors. In his more than twenty-five years of experience, he has served in leadership positions in governmental, civil society and academic institutions, working at both national and international levels.
José was previously the Executive Director of the Mexican Commission for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights. Before that, he worked at the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City (Local Ombusdman), responsible of the investigation of alleged violations of economic, social and cultural rights. Previously he served as Minister responsible for human rights at the Mexican Mission before the United Nations Organizations in Geneva. He was also one of the five members of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions (2014-2020) and a member of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (2018-2019). He also has taught university courses in Mexico, and other countries from Latin and North America. Also, he has published numerous articles and books on international human rights law.
José holds a Ph.D. in Human Rights Law from University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain and a law degree from the Iberoamericana University (Mexico City Campus).
José is based in México City, México.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -CLIMATE JUSTICE
Alejandra works as Programme Officer on Climate and Environmental Justice at the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She is an international lawyer working on the intersections between international human rights, environmental, and economic law from a gender perspective. She previously worked as Deputy Head of Section of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and as Consultant to the United Nations Development Programme in education and sustainable development. She holds a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge as a Chevening and Cambridge Trust Scholar, as well as a Bachelor of Laws from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Alejandra is based in Brussels, Belgium.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -PUBLIC SERVICES
Ana Clara works as a Programme Officer on Public Services with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. She holds a master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Sciences Po in Paris, where she focused on economic, social, and cultural Rights, and Latin American and gender studies. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso in Brazil.
Ana Clara previously worked on litigation claims concerning the right to social security and the right to health at the Public Defender’s Office and Federal Court of Justice in Brazil. She also supported the work of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Recently, she worked on strategic litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as part of the team of the Center for Justice and International Law.
Ana Clara is based in Paris, France.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -PUBLIC SERVICES & REPRESENTATIVE FOR AFRICA
Ashina works as the Programme Officer for Public Services and Representative for Africa with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, with an LL.B degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and an LL.M (with distinction) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Passionate about social justice, she has worked in the human rights sector for over six years at the intersection of global and national struggles for just systems of public service delivery to ensure everyone can enjoy their socio-economic rights, first at the Economic and Social Rights Centre-Hakijamii in Kenya and then at GI-ESCR. In particular, she has led and supported research and advocacy at local, national and global research and advocacy focused on the human rights legal framework relating to the rights to land, housing, education, health and water, for marginalised communities. Her research interests also include human rights and economic policy and the contribution that human rights obligations can make to the formulation and implementation of economic policy.
Ashina is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Belén has a BA in International Relations. She lived in India and the Philippines just after graduating where she volunteered for three years in health and education projects. Upon her return to Argentina, where she is native from, she joined Red Solidaria as volunteer and international aid coordinator. She worked as a journalist and program manager at La Nación newspaper foundation in Buenos Aires, to later become Social Media information specialist at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. She acted there as Liaison Officer with other sections and became Grant Officer representative. She was selected to become HelpArgentina's Executive Director to help expand fundraising opportunities abroad for NGOs from other Latin American countries, and successfully transitioned the organization into PILAS, Portal for Investment in the Latin American Social Sector. From there she moved on to working at a new media startup, RED/ACCION, as Engagement Editor and Membership coordinator before joining us as Communications Officer.
Belén is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
PROGRAMMER OFFICER -RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Juana works as a Programme 0fficer on Education and Public Services with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She is passionate about children’s right to education and supporting countries to provide inclusive, public, quality educational opportunities for all.
Before joining GI-ESCR, she worked as a consultant at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning, developing several projects within the R&D Team. Those projects included, among others, the “Education Policy Toolbox”, which aims to contribute to evidence-based decision-making processes; and the “Planning to Fulfil the Right to Education Toolkit” which eases the analysis and alignment of educational planning documents with the Abidjan Principles. She has also worked as a consultant with GI-ESCR in analysing Sierra Leone's draft Education Sector Plan (2021), and Uganda’s 1992 White Paper on Education, using IIEP-UNESCO’s Toolkit. Juana is also the co-creator of Ábaco, a financial education initiative targeting marginalised populations in public educational institutions in Bogotá, Colombia.
She holds a Master's Degree in Development and Humanitarian Aid from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Law and Political Science Degree from Toulouse 1 Capitole.
Juana is based in Bogotá, Colombia.
Lorena Zenteno is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her primary research interests include the human rights dimensions of climate change and environmental impacts, climate change justice, gender, and the judiciary’s role in the climate change crisis. Lorena has worked for several years in Chile, as a judge, as a law clerk, in the Court of Appeal of Concepcion, Santiago and in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Chile. She is a member of the Environment and Human Rights Commission of the National Association of the Chilean Judiciary, dedicated to study and discuss climate change and environmental impacts on human rights. Lorena is the Chilean National Rapporteur on Global Climate Litigation database for the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law of Columbia University.
She was a senior researcher for the former UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune, from September 2018 until September 2021. Supported and assisted the UN Special Rapporteur to fulfil his mandate to the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council.
She holds an LL.B. from Universidad de Concepcion, a LL.M. in Environmental Law from the University of Davis, California, and a Master in Business Law from the University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain. Lorena is a member of the the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment.
Lorena is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
PROGRAME OFFICER -WEST AFRICA
Lou Aya works as Programme Officer, Human Rights and Public Services - West Africa and Francophone countries. She was previously a Legal Assistant (AUYV) at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia. She was assigned to the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Chairperson. She was handling Communications (human rights complaints) in both English and French, and has been working on various ESCR issues such as the right to housing, the right to health and social protection, the right to water, private actors’ involvement in social services and women’s ESCR. As a language lover, Aya holds a Master’s degree entitled Juriste-Linguiste (Lawyer-Linguist) from the University of Poitiers, and speaks French, English and Spanish.
Aya is based in Bonoua, Ivory Coast.
ASSOCIATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER -LATAM
Macarena is a journalist from Universidad del Desarrollo Chile, Master of Science in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Master in Fundamental Rights from the Carlos III University of Madrid.
In her 10 years of experience as a reporter, she has worked as an investigative journalist in different Chilean media outlets, in the areas of reportage and documentary, with particular emphasis on the denunciation of human rights violations. This has allowed her to know firsthand the violations of these rights on the ground, undertaking their defense and promotion through her work.
Additionally, she works as a university lecturer of investigative journalism in various journalism schools.
Macarena is based in Santiago, Chile.
HEAD OF FINANCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
Mónica is the Head of Finance and Human Resources with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has more than 20 years of experience in the finance industry, with strong expertise in finance, accounting, and human resources. Mónica worked at BNP Paribas Mexican Representative Office as the Chief Operating Officer. Before BNP Paribas, Monica worked for Hewlett-Packard and Yamaha Co. She holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) Major in International Finance from Universidad de la Rioja, Spain and a Bachelor’s degree in Administration from Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, Mexico.
Mónica is based in México City, México.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -RIGHT TO HEALTH
Rossella works as a Right to Health Officer with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She holds a Ph.D. cum Laude in human rights from the University of Padova, Italy, with a thesis focused on the right to health. She has published on healthcare privatisation, mental health outcomes, healthcare reforms at times of economic crisis, health inequalities as well as human rights in social and fiscal policies. She is also interested in applying new research techniques to human rights theory and practice. She holds an LL.M. in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from the University of Essex, an M.A. in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA in International Cooperation and Development from the University of Bologna. Among other collaborations, she has interned at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR).
Rosella is based in Naples, Italy.
Roselyne is currently working with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights as an intern. She has an LL.B degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and has completed online course certifications on Introduction to Humanitarian Law, Unlocking Humanitarian Access, and Project ManagementLeadership offered by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy. Prior to joining GI-ESCR, she did her pupillage and post-pupillage at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Kisumu, Kenya. She assisted in the research, compilation, and dissemination/correspondence of information to the relevant agencies and partners, thus developing her interest and passion in access to justice for all people regardless of their social status, gender, sex, religion, or age.
Roselyne is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -ECONOMIC JUSTICE
Vicente works as Programme Officer for Latin America with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. His work particularly focuses on advocacy regarding constitutional processes and the role of private actors in public services in Latin America.
In the past 5 years, Vicente worked as National Legal Director in TECHO-Chile on poverty, inequality and economic and social rights. He holds an LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex and Postgraduate studies in international human rights law from Universidad de Chile.
Vicente is based in London, United Kingdom.
PROGRAMME OFFICER -RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Zsuzsanna works as Right to Education Officer with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Prior to joining GI-ESCR, she assisted in the drafting process of the Abidjan Principles on the Right to Education and the development and publication process of the Commentary of the Abidjan Principles as a consultant. Previously, she has worked with the Open Society Justice Initiative as an Aryeh Neier Fellow on issues such as equality and non-discrimination, Roma rights, the right to education, economic justice, access to justice and the rule of law. She has also worked as a lawyer with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union on educational segregation, Roma rights and hate crimes. She holds an LL.M in Public International Law from the University of Edinburgh and a Law Degree from the Eötvös Loránd University Budapest.
Zsuzsanna is based in Budapest, Hungary.
Allan Maleche is the Executive Director of Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN). With his colleagues, he has litigated landmark cases that halted the forced sterilization of women living with HIV, stopped the unjust use of public health concerns as a reason to incarcerate people living with TB, prevented the government of Kenya from making the names of children living with HIV available to the public and much more.
Mr. Maleche currently co-chairs the UNAIDS human rights reference group and he serves as a member of the International AIDS Society–Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights. He is presently a member of the International Advisory Board of the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Allan a former member of the Global Fund Board representing Developing Country NGOs and the former chair of the Implementer group of the Global Fund. Allan has over a decade of experience in promoting ethical, human rights–based approaches to health planning, programming and service delivery. In 2018, Allan was awarded the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award.
A former fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Allan holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi, and a Diploma in Gender and Human Rights from Uppsala University.
Kate Donald is a human rights and economic justice advocate, currently the Senior Director of Accountability and International Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC. From 2014 to 2022, she worked at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), including as Director of Program and Acting Executive Director. At CESR, she worked with partners around the world to conduct research on the human impacts of economic and social policies and to translate those findings into impactful advocacy at the global level. Her work has focused on economic and gender inequality, global economic governance, fiscal policy, and development finance. Earlier in her career, Kate worked at the United Nations in Geneva, with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and at the International Council on Human Rights Policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in modern history from Oxford University and an interdisciplinary master’s degree in human rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
José Fiocca has over 20 years’ experience in providing accounting and fiscal management services to clients in the not-for-profit sector. Jose works very closely with the senior management of the clients he serves and has significant experience in designing control systems and procedures to assist in the management of various activities and programs of his not-for-profit clients. Jose’s extensive experience with a variety of financial systems helps his clients to review and monitor budgets, program reports, financial projections and the management of multiple and diversified funding sources. Jose holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
Marcos A. Orellana is an expert in international law, human rights law and environmental law. He currently is the UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.
His practice as legal advisor has included work with United Nations agencies, governments and non-governmental organisations, including on waste and chemicals issues at the Basel and Minamata conventions, the UN Environment Assembly and the Human Rights Council. He has intervened in cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body. His practice in the climate space includes representing the eight-nation Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean in the negotiations of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and serving as senior legal advisor to the Presidency of the 25th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Professor Orellana has extensive experience working with civil society around the world on issues concerning global environmental justice. He was the inaugural director of the Environment and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. Previously, he directed the trade and the human rights programs at the Center for International Environmental Law, and co-chaired the UN Environment Program's civil society forum.
He teaches international environmental law at George Washington University School of Law and international law at the American University Washington College of Law. Previously, he lectured in prominent universities around the world, including Melbourne, Pretoria, Geneva, and Guadalajara. He was a fellow at the University of Cambridge, visiting scholar with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington DC, and instructing professor of international law at the Universidad de Talca, Chile.
Radhika is Professor in Women's and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University and the former faculty director at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Rutgers University. She is on the Global Advisory Council for the United Nations Population Fund. She was the President of the International Association for Feminist Economics and was a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equity for the City of New York,
Radhika is the co-author of Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: The Radical Potential of Human Rights with James Heintz and Diane Elson (Routledge, 2016). She is the co-editor with Diane Elson of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account (Zed Books, 2011). She edited The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy (Kumarian Press, 2001) and co-edited Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions, with Patricia Jung and Mary Hunt (Rutgers University Press, 2000). Her research and advocacy work has sought to change the lens through which macroeconomic policy is interpreted and critiqued by applying international human rights norms to assess macroeconomic policy.
Rachel Moussié is the Deputy Director of the Social Protection Programme at WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) – a global network aimed at securing the labour and economic rights of workers in the informal economy. She contributes to WIEGO’s research, analysis and advocacy to extend social protection to all workers. Since joining WIEGO in 2016, she leads the Child Care Initiative supporting organisations of informal economy workers to mobilise for quality, affordable, accessible and publicly financed child care services as part of national social protection systems.
Prior to joining WIEGO, Rachel was the Policy Manager for the Women’s Rights program at ActionAid International where she raised funds and oversaw multi-country research and advocacy projects on addressing women’s unequal responsibility for unpaid care work. She brings a feminist perspective to her policy work on development financing. In her earlier roles at ActionAid International she focused on global tax policy reform and public education financing. Rachel holds a MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and a BA from McGill University. She is from and resides in Mauritius and has lived and worked in Canada, Colombia, France, Kenya, South Africa and the UK.
OPERATIONS & LATIN AMERICAN LEAD
Valentina is the Operations Lead and Representative in Chile with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this role, she is responsible for strengthening GI-ESCR ’s organizational effectiveness to increase impact and advance GI-ESCR’s mission.
She holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics (LSE), an LLB from the Universidad de Chile and a degree in Probity, Transparency and Good Governance from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
From 2014 to 2020, Valentina worked as a lawyer at the Research Department of the Supreme Court of Chile in areas related to the enhancement of the right of access to justice. She previously worked as a lawyer in consumer law class actions and as a volunteer in technological education projects in Chile’s rural areas.
Valentina is based in Santiago, Chile.
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Magdalena is currently working with the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as an intern. She holds a JD degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she specialised in International Law. Additionally, Magdalena is an LL.M candidate from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Prior to joining GI-ESCR, she worked in the Argentine judiciary, dealing with a wide range of cases concerning human rights such as the rights to education, housing, and health, among others. She also worked at an NGO in Argentina focused on strategic litigation, where she also participated in different projects dealing with the protection of economic and social rights.
Magdalena is based in Geneva, Switzerland.