Sunila Abeyesekera: Ms. Abeyesekera is the Director of INFORM, a Sri Lankan human rights organization, that has been active since 1989, with a special focus on monitoring, documentation and networking.  As part of its daily work, INFORM monitors news reports about the human rights situation in the daily Sri Lankan press, in all three national languages—Sinhala, Tamil and English. It also gathers information and documents from other human rights groups and community-based organizations throughout the country on incidents and situations that are highlighted in the news.  From this and other information, INFORM prepares a monthly Situation Report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.  Among its other activities, it functions as a library and documentation center for journalists, students and others seeking information regarding the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

Philip Alston: Philip Alston is Professor of International Law at the European University Institute in Florence and Visiting Professor in the Global Law Program at New York University Law School.  He chaired the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for eight years (1991-98) and was its Rapporteur from its inception in 1987 until 1991.

Luis Jesús Bello: Sr. Bello is the General Coordinator of the Human Rights Office of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas State, Venezuela.  The Office was created in 1992 and works through three main programs: the Legal Defense and Case Monitoring Program; the Human Rights Education Program; and the Communication Program.  It works from an integral perspective, taking on cases of individual (civil and political) and collective (economic, social and cultural) rights, but it has made a preferential option for the defense and promotion of the collective rights of the indigenous peoples of Amazonas.  In the field of ESC rights, the Office focuses its work on the defense of the right of indigenous peoples to land and territory, the right to health as a human right, the cultural rights of the various ethnic groups and the protection of the right to a healthy environment.

David Bergman: For the past ten years, Mr. Bergman’s work has focused on the accountability of corporations for causing harm. Though his work is primarily British-based, he has been involved in organizing campaigns relating to Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster, and in coordinating the "Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Industrial and Environmental Hazards" organized in London in 1994.  He has mainly worked on corporate accountability issues as a journalist in print media and television.  The books he has written include: Deaths at Work: Accidents or Corporate Crime (London Hazards Centre, 1992); The Perfect Crime: How Companies Get Away with Manslaughter (West Midlands Health and Safety Advice Centre, 1994); and Corporate Violence and the Criminal Justice System (Disaster Action, 1999).

Natalia Pendo Berkowitz: Ms. Berkowitz is a British barrister with a particular interest in human rights and refugee and migration law.  Her work in the field of refugee law has included advising and representing asylum seekers for the UK’s largest nonprofit immigration law advisory service (the Immigration Advisory Service) and, more recently, acting as Senior Legal and Research Officer to the UK Immigration Appellate Authority.  She has advised Cambodian judges and prosecutors in human rights law as a United Nations Judicial Mentor and has lectured at both the London School of Economics and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.  She has written widely on immigration, human rights and refugee law, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of Tolley’s Immigration and Nationality Law and Practice.

Anthea Billy: Ms. Billy is a lawyer with the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), an independent nonprofit law center established in 1979 in South Africa.  The target groups of the LRC are the poor, homeless and landless of South Africa and those who suffer discrimination by reason of race, gender, or social and economic or historical circumstances. The LRC, inspired by its history, the new South African Constitution and international human rights standards, is committed to contributing to the social and economic transformation of South African society—and specifically to the constitutionalization of socioeconomic and environmental rights, believing that the progressive realization of these rights must guide the formulation of policy, legislative and developmental programs and the allocation of resources at all three levels of government. 

Ann Blyberg: Ms. Blyberg is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Internship Program.

Ligia Bolívar: Ms. Bolívar is Director of the Human Rights Center at the Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela.  She was previously Co-Director of the Venezuelan Program of Action and Education in Human Rights (Provea).  From its start in 1988, Provea has focused on ESC rights.  In 1992, the right to health and labor rights were defined as the two main work priorities.  Among its principal achievements have been: (a) annual reporting on the ESC rights situation in Venezuela; (b) development of ESC rights training strategies and materials; (c) public campaigns related to the right to health and labor rights; (d) research on the development of an ESC rights action framework; (e) research on a right to health protection framework (Spanish publication La Salud como derecho [1996], soon to be published in English); (f) design and implementation of defense strategies on collective ESC rights cases; and (g) continuous lobbying to promote ESC rights-related policies and legislation.

Matthew Craven: Mr. Craven is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of London University.  He has written, consulted and lectured extensively on ESC rights.  He is the author of The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Perspective on Its Development, and of chapters in The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Hanski R. and Suksi M. (eds.). 

Ma. Socorro (“Cookie”) Diokno: Ms. Diokno is Secretary-General of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) in the Philippines, where from 1990-97 she directed the conceptualization and implementation of FLAG’s ESC rights program, which focused on housing, health and education.  She has published various pieces for and made a number of presentations to other organizations on a range of ESC rights issues.  She is an expert member of the International Jury of the Body Shop’s International Human Rights Award, and is currently doing a research project for the International Council on Human Rights Policy on corporate practices and human rights in the Philippines.

Alberto León Gómez: Sr. Gomez is the Assistant Director of the Colombian Commission of Jurists, which was founded in 1988 as the Andean Commission of Jurists/Colombian Section.  In late 1992 the CCJ launched its ESC Rights Program.  This program includes research activities (collection of information and theoretical perspectives), legal protection, promotion, and participating in public debate.  In 1995, it submitted an alternative report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was prepared with the cooperation of a large number of other nongovernmental and social organizations.  Since 1993, it has been accompanying Colombian trade unionists in their work before the ILO.  The program also investigates the causes of displacement in Colombia and violations of the economic, social and cultural rights of the displaced population.

Mario Gomez: Mario Gomez is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Law at the University of Colombo.  He also works with the Law & Society Trust, a human rights research and advocacy organization based in Colombo.  He has been a resource person in training programs on economic and social rights for members of human rights commissions, human rights activists, members of the armed forces and government officials, among others.  He has published in the areas of economic and social rights, women’s rights and the internally displaced.

Enrique González: Sr. Gonzalez worked with the Venezuelan Program for Human Rights Education and Action (Provea).  See description of Provea’s work, above (under Ligia Bolívar).  He is currently working with Citizen Action against AIDS (ACCSI), a Venezuelan HIV/AIDS and human rights NGO, in a regional human rights capacity-building project for UNAIDS.    

Thomas Hammarberg: Mr. Hammarberg is the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia.  He was the Secretary-General of Amnesty International in 1980-86.  He directed Swedish Save the Children (Rädda Barnen) in 1986-92 and was a member and Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 1991-97.

Johannes (“Babes”) Ignacio: Mr. Ignacio is the Executive Director of Alterlaw, in the Philippines.  Alterlaw’s approach involves focusing on issues of human rights and social equity. Human rights is defined in its broadest sense and Alterlaw looks at human rights issues in the context of the social realities.  Conversely, when Alterlaw tackles social issues, it looks at, and responds to, these issues using a human rights perspective.  Alterlaw has concerned itself with women’s rights  (trafficking of women, vulnerability to HIV/AIDS); children’s rights (street children); rights of migrant workers; labor rights; land tenure issues; and HIV/AIDS and human rights.  Alterlaw’s activities include providing direct legal assistance; educating people on their rights or conducting legal literacy programs; conducting fact-finding and investigations; advocacy and lobby work; conducting research and publishing articles.  

Miloon Kothari: Mr. Kothari, who is from India, is the Convener of Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Rights Committee and the Joint-Convener of the International NGO Committee on Human Rights in Trade and Investment.  In these capacities he is working through campaigning, advocacy, research and training to promote solidarity between civil society organizations at various levels and to utilize the UN human rights system within the overarching perspective of the international human rights regime as a tool for political mobilization.  He has researched and published widely on housing discrimination and ghettoization, women and housing and land rights, children and housing and land rights, the impact of forced evictions and the impact of economic globalization on the realization ESC rights, among other issues.

Rolf Künnemann: Mr. Künnemann is the International Secretariat of FIAN (Foodfirst Information and Action Network).  FIAN maintains a worldwide network of researchers to provide information about violations of the rights to food.  FIAN also provides information about human rights law to victims and to the general public.  FIAN’s work is centered around the fact that, in many situations, violations of the right to food can be prevented by drawing international attention on the authorities responsible.  The organization is composed of sections on three continents, with many local groups and members in over 45 countries.  It undertakes urgent actions, hotlines and adoption cases.  It also campaigns and lobbies for specific policy measures and legal instruments that protect and promote the right to food.

Sandra Liebenberg: Ms. Liebenberg is a researcher with Socio‑Economic Rights Project of the Community Law Centre at the University of Western Cape in South Africa.  The main objective of the Project, established in 1997, is to ensure that these rights are effectively implemented in South Africa.  This objective is pursued through a number of activities: research, with the aim of developing a workable normative framework and methodology for the implementation and monitoring of socioeconomic rights; advocacy, lobbying and campaigns around socioeconomic rights issues; assisting public institutions in monitoring and assessing the measures they have adopted towards the realization of these rights; public information and awareness; litigation; and education and training for parliamentarians, government officials, members of the independent commissions and NGOs on socioeconomic rights.

Felix Morka: Mr. Morka is the Director of the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC), which was established in 1995 to promote and advance social and economic rights in Nigeria.  SERAC emphasizes the participation of people and communities in the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programs.  SERAC’s objectives include advocating for the establishment/reform of laws, policies, programs and institutions to ensure ESC rights; monitoring and influencing the implementation of social and economic rights; conducting research, preparing publications and organizing focus group discussions, seminars and conferences on social and economic rights; and promoting awareness of, and participation by, local communities in the design and implementation of social and economic policies which affect them. 

S. Muralidhar: Mr. Muralidhar is a lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court of India for over twelve years.  His area of work includes human rights and public interest litigation.  He also handles cases of convicts on death row, mostly through pro bono work for the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.

D. J. Ravindran: Mr. Ravindran is a lawyer and human rights activist from India currently working with the UN Mission in Cambodia.  He has worked as Legal Officer for Asia for the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva.  He was the founder of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia), which is a regional nongovernmental alliance of human rights organizations.  He was the Secretary of the UN International Inquiry Commission on East Timor.

Sundari Ravindran: Ms. Ravindran is a researcher and consultant on population policy and gender and health issues.  She has written books and has conducted several field-based studies on women’s health issues.  For the last twenty years she has been coordinating a women’s health program for rural women in Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India.

Ton Redegeld: Mr. Redegeld is a Legal Adviser and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, which operates in Europe, Northern, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  It develops a grassroots presence and involvement among very poor families and communities in rural and urban areas.  It reaches out to public opinion, builds co-operation with public authorities, and networks with other NGOs at local, national and international levels. The Movement calls for and works towards a global and coherent approach to the problem of extreme poverty, and by doing so, towards an overall respect of all human rights.

Julieta Rossi: Ms. Rossi is a lawyer at the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS).  CELS is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Argentina through the strengthening of  democracy and the rule of law.  Its ESC Rights Program seeks to raise awareness of and to guarantee ESC rights within the Argentine legal system.  It litigates cases before local courts and international bodies, conducts research on applicable standards related to the justiciability of ESC rights, and advocates for the ratification of international treaties to order to further justiciability.  CELS has presented a Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Mas Achmad Santosa: Mr. Santosa is the Executive Director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law.  ICEL is a non-governmental organization strongly committed to preserving the living environment, with an emphasis on environmental law.

Kay Treakle: Ms. Treakle is the Managing Director of the Bank Information Center, D.C.  BIC’s mission is to empower citizens in developing countries to influence projects financed by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) as well as MDBs’ policies in a manner that fosters social justice and ecological responsibility.  BIC aims to democratize the international financial institutions to ensure citizen participation, information disclosure, full adherence to environmental and social policies, and public accountability.  Since 1987 BIC has functioned as the principal source of information for NGOs worldwide on the policies and projects of the MDBs, much of which is confidential or otherwise out of reach to NGOs and citizens in the Banks’ member countries.  BIC’s constituents include NGO networks in both the global South and North, social movements and grassroots groups, indigenous peoples, and women’s organizations in developing countries.

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