European NHRIs exchange on realisation of economic and social rights in Europe

Representatives of European NHRIs at the Greek National Commission for Human Rights for the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Working Group meeting (9 April 2019 – Athens, Greece)

Members of the ENNHRI Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights met in Athens on 9 April 2019 to exchange practices and experiences, inputting into ENNHRI’s forthcoming guide for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) working on poverty reduction and measurement.

Representing 11 NHRIs in Europe, the meeting participants shared their work at the national level to advance economic and social rights in Europe. For example, the representative of the Lithuanian NHRI shared how the institution is promoting support and social assistance as part of deinstitutionalisation processes. The Finnish NHRI representative explained how the Ombudsman is carrying out an inspection on living standards in care institutions for children and the elderly.

The good practices gathered will be showcased in ENNHRI’s forthcoming publication on NHRIs’ role in promoting and protecting economic and social rights, to be launched in November ahead of ENNHRI’s Annual Conference in Brussels.

Additionally, participants discussed input into ENNHRI’s forthcoming guide on how NHRIs can use the SDGs in advancing a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to poverty reduction and measurement, to be launched this summer. This will complement ENNHRI’s comprehensive study on the topic, conducted by Olivier De Schutter of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (see summary in this leaflet).

Furthermore, following on the discussion of the importance of economic and social rights in situations of (post-)conflict which took place at the workshop in Mostar, members of the working group agreed on the importance of advising policy makers on adopting an HRBA to economic and social policies and that NHRIs’ capacities should be strengthened in this regard.

The use of an HRBA to policy-making will be the primary topic of discussion at the working group’s next meeting in May in Brussels and during the NHRI Academy 2019 in June in Venice, the flagship capacity-building event of ENNHRI and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

» Download leaflet on how NHRIs can use SDGs in advancing a human rights-based approach to poverty reduction and measurement
» Learn about ENNHRI’s upcoming workshop on ‘Communicating Economic and Social Rights’ on 22nd May in Brussels