Thursday, October 1, 2020

Join in the Conversation with Special Rapporteurs

On October 19, 2020 at 8 to 10 AM eastern time, you will have an opportunity to discuss human rights difficulties stemming from the privatization of what once were public services.   The discussion will touch on such concerns as water, health, and housing and the dialogue will be will be held with five current and former Special Rapporteurs.  The formal announcement includes the following: 

This event is co-organised by ActionAidThe East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights), the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER)Oxfam, the Society for International Development (SID)Public Services International (PSI), and the Translational Institute (TNI).

The Special Rapporteurs:

  • Philip Alston, former UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights 
  • Koumbou Boly Barry, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education   
  • Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
  • Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context
  • Léo Heller, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation 

The event will be moderated by Magdalena Sepúlveda, former UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

This online seminar will be held on Zoom, and be available in French and Spanish.

Click on this link to register: REGISTER TO THE EVENT

After decades of deregulation and privatisation policies around the world, private actors are playing an increasing role in many sectors, from education and health, to water, food and housing.  However, concerns that privatised systems are gravely threatening the realisation of human rights are rising. 

In recent years, dozens of human rights experts and bodies have rung the alarm bell, including four UN Special Rapporteurs who have written reports on the topic. The issue is becoming all the more critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, high and rising inequalities, and the ecological emergency. More than ever, the current trends towards privatisation and the dismantling of public services are proving to be untenable. The time has come to review human rights concerns across sectors and discuss alternatives to the dominant discourses.

This event will be the first-ever to bring together a range of current and former UN Special Rapporteurs and explore how human rights can help build a joint analysis of privatisation and bring support to resilient, rights-aligned, gender-inclusive public services and innovative approaches to realise the common good in a changing world.


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