International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net)



The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) is the largest collaborative initiative of organizations and activists around the world working to secure economic, social, and environmental justice through human rights.

Formed in 2003, ESCR-Net enables human rights advocates from around the world to come together by developing a collective voice and joint actions; exchanging information and mutual-learning; advancing tools and strategies; and strengthening links across regions, languages and disciplines. ESCR-Net has a core membership of over 200 organizations and individual activists from around the world. The substantive work of ESCR-Net is carried out through decentralized structures that are comprised of and coordinated by members based in different countries.

ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Groupwas formed in 2003 in response to member needs for a space to enable joint advocacy, strategy-exchange and mutual-learning, as well as to strengthen the voice of communities and grassroots groups challenging business-related human rights abuses worldwide. The Corporate Accountability Working Group advocates for national and international corporate accountability for human rights abuses, involving support for international human rights standards for business. Throughout, the Working Group seeks to strengthen the voice of communities and grassroots groups who are challenging company abuses of human rights by documenting and highlighting particular cases, and by facilitating broad-based participation in United Nations and other international consultations. The Working Group also seeks to build the capacity of its participants by creating space for the exchange of information and strategies, connecting groups to one another, and providing resources for advocacy.

Developed in collaboration with 37 civil society groups around the world, the Working Group’s Collective Report on Business and Human Rightswas submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2008, documenting 159 cases of alleged business-related human rights violations in 66 countries.