News : Article

Sharing skills to realise economic, social and cultural rights

Graphic: Men packing ice at night on Delhi street

NHRIs in South East Asia are taking part in a program to learn strategies to effectively monitor socio-economic policies and development plans.


Despite significant economic growth in recent decades, poverty levels in the Asia Pacific remain unacceptably high.

Governments in the region have committed to progressively realise economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights and to advance the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

However, these commitments are yet to become a reality for the 1.7 billion people in the region living on less than two dollars a day. Their lives are continuously threatened by lack of food, risk of disease, hazardous work and precarious living conditions.

National human rights institutions across the Asia Pacific have recognised the need for a human rights-based approach to the Sustainable Development Goals.

However, for such an approach to be meaningfully implemented, governments must be held to account when their development plans or socio-economic policies cause, or fail to address, inequalities and human rights deprivations.

Effective policy monitoring is essential for ensuring accountability. It can highlight when policies cause, continue or worsen inequalities and deprivations.


Graphic: Boy working as shoe cleaner, New Delhi

Defending Dignity: A Manual for NHRIs on Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

This manual outlines practical steps that NHRIs can take to monitor and promote greater respect for economic, social and cultural rights.


The APF in partnership with the Center for Economic and Social Rights will deliver a blended learning course on monitoring ESC rights for NHRIs in South East Asia, running from 21 November – 27 January 2017.

This blended learning course seeks to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to effectively monitor socio-economic policies and development plans from a human rights perspective.

Through a collaborative learning process, participants will build on their existing expertise, share experiences with others, and deepen their understanding of key tools and techniques for policy monitoring.

Date: 18 November 2016


EU logo

This blended learning is being delivered as part of an ongoing partnership with the Danish Institute of Human Rights, funded by the European Union, to strengthen NHRIs and their capacity to protect and promote human rights.


Image credits

  1. Men packing ice at night on Delhi street - APF/Michael Power
  2. EU logo - EU