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Areas of work

We work with partners to tackle social and economic injustice through a human rights lens.

This is a moment of change. Against a background of rapid and potentially irreversible ecological destruction, the neoliberal paradigm is increasingly questioned. It has promoted an aggressive free-market agenda of deregulation, privatisation and trade liberalisation that has undermined the State’s role in the provision of services that are essential to human security. In many parts of the world, inequality has become so extreme that societies are unsustainable, while extractive economic models have led to ecological breakdown. Moreover, the same economic system has perpetuated inequalities between the Global North and South.


These are therefore challenging times for human rights. Globally, we face a perfect storm: a global pandemic that is exacerbating structural and intersectional inequalities, the threat of climate and environmental catastrophe, and the spread of authoritarian regimes that close down democratic space.

At the same time, there are reasons to stay hopeful. A growing number of people and social organisations are realising that ESC rights are of paramount importance and that solidarity, both national and international, is essential to face societal challenges. Human rights, as a set of democratically sanctioned societal goals, provides a compass that we can use to transform our political, economic and social institutions towards a fairer future for all.


Priority areas

GI-ESCR believes that, to confront these existential challenges, human societies will need to profoundly rethink social relations and political and economic institutions. We will need to renew our vision of work, of wealth, of justice, of care, our relationship to the natural world, and our consumption patterns; and transform policies and the organisation of our economic and political institutions accordingly. We believe that, to survive, we will need governance and institutions that are fairer, more just, more respectful of the environment, more accountable, more caring and inclusive, and that consume the world’s resources more responsibly.

Public Services & regulation of Private actors

We work to create public services that deliver ESC rights for everyone; and to make public and private institutions properly accountable to all the people they serve, including those who at present enjoy least power.

Strengthening ESC rights framework and institutions

We work for strong and effective ESC rights legal frameworks and accountability mechanisms that can respond to contemporary economic, social and cultural rights injustices. We support national and local rights advocates who leverage the human rights system to realise social, economic and climate justice.

Addressing the Climate Emergency

We highlight the serious threat posed by climate change to economic, social and cultural rights and demand that States take ambitious action to address climate change through green transition plans that respect, protect and fulfil human rights, especially the rights of women.

Public Finance and Tax Reform

We promote the realisation of human rights as a fundamental objective of fiscal policy. We promote a series of standards to inspire transformative action that renews the fiscal pact between the State, citizens and companies.

Gender Equality and Women’s Rights

We aim to transform social norms, power structures and the roots of inequality and discrimination by placing substantive gender equality at the heart of our advocacy to achieve economic, social and environmental justice.

Additional Working Areas

Most of our activities and programmes are intersectional and cross-cutting.

Chile’s constitutional process

GI-ESCR’s action in Chile aims to promote rights-respecting, gender inclusive and climate-sensitive alternatives for Chile’s constitutional process and economic policy debates.



We work collaboratively to raise visibility and understanding of the right to adequate housing in international human rights spaces.

Water and sanitation

The right to water and sanitation (WATSAN) are  recognised as essential to the realisation of all human rights.

Extra Territorial Obligations

We work to ensure that States are held accountable for rights violations both at home and abroad.


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