Convening for Economic and Social Rights
Post-2015 Expert Group Meeting, New Brunswick, New Jersey: December 13-14, 2012
CWGL organized a two day meeting focused on addressing gaps in the post-2015 development framework. More specifically, the objective of this meeting was to integrate issues of gender and human rights in relation to macroeconomic policies. The areas of focus for this meeting were: (i) macroeconomic policy, (ii) inequalities, (iii) gender equality, (iv) employment, and (v) governing for human rights at global and national levels. A consideration of gender equality and the contributions of feminist economics was central to this meeting. A report will be developed from the meeting and shared soon.
CWGL convened this meeting to analyze and unpack the human rights concept of maximum available resources (MAR), which was introduced in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The ICESCR specifies in Article 2.1 that “Each state party to the present Covenant undertakes steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.” The Center invited activists, academics, and economists to grapple with the idea of MAR and problematize the underdeveloped utilization of MAR by governments. Participants considered how fiscal and monetary policy contribute to making available and using maximum resources and also how can fiscal and monetary policy instruments be used in a way that are in compliance with other human rights obligations such as non discrimination, transparency and accountability. This meeting was organized around five themes: revenue, public expenditure, international assistance, deficits and debt, and central bank policy.
Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies and Human Rights, New Brunswick, NJ: September 29-October 1, 2009
In late September, CWGL convened a meeting in an effort to develop strategies to reach diverse groups of activists and academics who would have interest in using a macro economic and human rights training module. The Why MES with Human Rights project began in 2004 at a meeting in Geneva, which brought together progressive economists, human rights activists, and economic and social rights advocates to explore the intersections between human rights advocacy and economic policies. In 2005, the first publication was produced and included explorations of how to use human rights paradigms to address structures of governance and legal frameworks, and issues of democracy and representation to generate and sustain more humane macroeconomic policies. The second edition, published in 2009, focused on the evaluation of macroeconomic strategies from the perspective of progressive realization of the people’s economic and social human rights, and the States’ compliance with their minimal basic responsibilities to their people. This report focuses on two years of research in Mexico and the United States looking at five auditing analyses: fiscal and monetary policy, public expenditure policy, pension reform, taxation, and trade policy. The purpose of bringing together these key economists and activists was to identify interested organizations, activists, and critical policy makers in Mexico and the United States and name what the value added would be for these groups in understanding the human rights approach of the macroeconomic strategies project. After three days of productive discussions, the group decided that organizing a pilot training module amongst a group of progressive economists and women’s rights and human rights groups would the ideal next step.