EYE ON NEW RESOURCES: Bringing Human Rights to Bear in Times of Crisis: A Human Rights Analysis of Government Responses to the Economic Crisis

“Bringing Human Rights to Bear in Times of Crisis” is the name of the recent report co-authored by Center of Concern with Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (CWGL) and the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net).

The report is based on the results of a questionnaire developed by ESCR-Net participants to engage civil society in determining how governments were meeting their human rights obligations in their economic policies and to generate reflection and input from a broad community of social justice activists.

The questionnaire was based on a statement developed last year by ESCR-Net members in which almost 300 organizations and individuals call for a response to the financial crisis and economic recession that places human rights norms at the center, in which people and the environment, not banks or business, are at the foundation of economic policy-making. The questionnaire presented 8 broad questions on fiscal and monetary economic measures taken by governments since the start of the economic crisis in the mid-2007 relating to economic stimulus packages, tax policy reforms, social protection programs, financial measures and international dimensions of the crisis.

The information, views and recommendations presented in this report are derived from the responses to that questionnaire, along with complementary research conducted on specific measures and country responses.

This report aims to deepen the understanding of how governments have conducted themselves and how effective economic policies have been in defending and strengthening the enjoyment of human rights in a time of multiple and interlocking social and economic crises.

“The report contains useful recommendations of interest to anybody concerned with how to ensure human rights obligations of governments shape the response to the financial crisis at both the national and international levels.” said Aldo Caliari, from the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project of Center of Concern

Full report available (english only) at http://www.coc.org/system/files/HRResponses.pdf