National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) promotes a human rights vision for the United States that ensures dignity and access to the basic resources needed for human development and civic participation. Towards this end, NESRI works with organizers, policy advocates and legal organizations to incorporate a human rights perspective into their work and build human rights advocacy models tailored for the United States.

NESRI takes a partnership approach to building a human rights culture in the United States, and prioritizes partnerships at the community level. NESRI adheres to partnership principles intended to ensure that we work in solidarity with affected communities.

Specifically NESRI supports its partners through:

Research, Analysis and Documentation

NESRI develops human rights research, documentation, and analysis to support and shape campaigns in partnership with social justice organizations working with communities. NESRI also works with partners to develop participatory documentation projects where community members are trained in human rights standards and documentation techniques in order to gather qualitative information that informs their advocacy, as well as strengthens their organizing.


NESRI provides workshops and training on the practical application of human rights to U.S. social justice advocacy. NESRI's training focuses not only on basic human rights standards and mechanisms, but also on how to use human rights as tools for message development, and policy and legal analysis. Our workshops focus on particular issues (such as health or education) or strategies (such as human rights documentation or policy analysis), organizational trainings geared towards building institutional capacity in human rights, legal human rights training, and training in the use of human rights mechanisms (such as U.N. or regional treaty bodies, working groups, or commissions).

Building Transnational and International Links

NESRI facilitates the use of international and regional human rights mechanisms by social justice groups in the United States by providing information, assisting with logistics, preparing testimony, and developing strategic interventions. NESRI also supports the development of international solidarity relationships among affected communities by facilitating exchange and dialogue.

Articles by National Economic and Social Rights Initiative