Connect with us

We held two open training sessions for civil society activists and organisations in February, focused on increasing their confidence and capacity to use our everyday rights – economic, social and cultural rights – to tackle rights violations and achieve their own campaign goals. 

We had some great feedback, including:

“It was an excellent orientation into economic, social, and cultural rights.”

“I really enjoyed the workshop. It was a safe environment to share our perspectives on issues we are working on.”

“It increased my understanding of the intersectionality of rights.”

The sessions exploring the following questions:

  • What are the UK’s economic, social, and cultural rights obligations?
  • How do we hold duty bearers accountable?
  • How can you use human rights to strengthen your campaigning and advocacy work?

The sessions used a mixture of group activities, presentations, discussions, and videos to really drill down into what our everyday rights are, where they come from, how we can hold governments and local authorities to account, and how these rights can be used as an extra ‘tool’ in a campaigning toolbox.

We had a range of people join from right across the four nations/jurisdictions of the UK, both as representatives of civil society organisations, and as individuals interested in human rights. This mix was important because it allowed us to see that while we are all working on different campaigns (access to clothing, disability rights, racial equality etc.) and in different areas, so often the rights involved are interdependent (adequate standard of living, right to work, right to education etc.) and we can strengthen our work by coming together to demand all our rights are realised.

The sessions allowed participants to hear from us and ask lots of questions, and there was a strong focus on group work and discussion. People often come with huge amounts of knowledge about the human rights situation in their own communities, though they may not necessarily frame it as such. They are human rights defenders, and we aim to give them the space to share and learn from each other as well as us.  We know that good facilitation is about trying to enable everyone to share their own knowledge and experience.

As participants noted,

“It has been great to be able to hear from such a range of different people on the work their undertaking and understand more about both the on-the-ground work happening across the country as well as more international action of holding governments accountable.”

“I loved that the space felt warm and safe.”

“I understand the interdependency of rights better, and seeing people as individuals rather than groups who may experience a lower enjoyment of rights for various reasons.”

If you’re interested in finding out more, join our mailing list to be the first to hear about our next event, follow us on Twitter, or keep an eye on the events section of our website.

Background image by Agnieszka Węglarska.