Annual Conference 2019: ‘Realising Economic and Social Rights in Europe – The Role of NHRIs’


The conference will take place one day after ENNHRI’s General Assembly meeting (13 November 2019).


Ten years after the economic crisis in Europe, some economic and social reforms still lead to violations of human rights, particularly economic and social rights (ESR). National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have great potential in advancing the promotion and protection of ESR in Europe. Through their broad human rights mandate and variety of functions, NHRIs work towards the implementation of ESR and help translate international and regional human rights instruments and commitments to a local reality for all.

About the conference

ENNHRI’s Annual Conference will bring together European NHRIs with regional and international organisations and civil society to:

  • Showcase the role and relevance of NHRIs in the realisation of ESR in Europe
  • Encourage a human rights-based approach to economic and social policies and reforms at the national and European level

The programme will include high-level panels and interactive small group discussions, with a focus on poverty, the right to housing, labour rights, justiciability and promotion of ESR. Some of the notable speakers include:

  • Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights
  • Birgit Van Hout, OHCHR Europe Representative
  • Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, First Deputy Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • Branko Lubarda, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights
  • François Vandamme, Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights
  • Leo Williams, Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network
  • Nina Nordström, Representative of Finland’s Presidency of the EU Council, Head of Mission at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe
  • Olivier de Schutter, Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain

They will introduce rights and policy frameworks and how NHRIs can use them. Representatives of European NHRIs will share practices on using their broad mandate to strive for the realisation of ESR.

The conference will result in a set of innovative recommendations for NHRIs on how to further advance the realisation of ESR in Europe, including through the support of ENNHRI and other stakeholders.

An interactive, online page with good practices illustrating how NHRIs work on ESR in Europe will be available as a background for the conference and will be updated given the outcomes of the Conference. A Guide for NHRIs on how to contribute to a human rights-based approach to poverty reduction and measurement will also be presented at the conference.


For more information, please contact Nina Pániková from the ENNHRI Secretariat:

» Download the concept note for the conference
» Learn more about ENNHRI’s work on economic and social rights

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