The Center for Economic and Social Rights was the first organization founded to focus exclusively on economic, social and cultural rights.
For over 15 years CESR has worked towards its goal of promoting social justice through human rights. The organization was founded in 1993 by Roger Normand, Sarah Zaidi and Chris Jochnick, with a vision to contribute to a fundamental rethinking in the human rights community about the need to return to the interdependent vision of all human rights, as established in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
. This rethinking and advocacy work has been pursued through various strategies over the years.
Today, The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) works to promote social justice through human rights. In a world where poverty and inequality deprive entire communities of dignity, justice and sometimes life, they seek to uphold the universal human rights of every human being to education, health, food, water, housing, work, and other economic, social and cultural rights essential to human dignity.
Extreme poverty and rising inequality should not simply be considered an inevitable tragedy. Rather, they are often the result of conscious policy choices by governments and other powerful actors (such as corporations or international financial institutions) that undermine people's access to the full range of human rights. CESR therefore seeks to hold governments and other actors accountable to their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill economic and social rights.
CESR is working to:
Promote the mainstreaming of economic, social and cultural rights in all economic and social policymaking, highlighting impacts of key global policy decisions;
Develop new methodologies for measuring and monitoring
economic and social rights compliance, contributing to more effective accountability for economic, social and cultural rights;
Empower and build capacities of organizations within and beyond the human rights movement to advocate more effectively for the fulfillment of these rights;
Advocate for greater accountability for economic, social and cultural rights within states and internationally, including at the United Nations and regional human rights forums.
CESR works in partnership with national and international organizations in different countries across a range of disciplines.