The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) has launched the online version of the documentary film project Human Rights For and By the People: Securing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from Below! This film visually represents the experiences and expertise of local and national groups in sharing common challenges to making human rights a reality, the power of the human rights framework, effective strategies, and successful examples of collective advocacy.
This video represents the actual power of human rights, not only as the shield of the individual in front of the potentially hypertrophic group, but rather as an impulse and a tool for collective action. The frame ‘human rights’ impels groups and activists from all over the world to gather and act in a coordinated fashion, linking economic and social justice with the inherent dignity of all human beings. When these groups maximise their political opportunities and make their mobilising structures work together, they are constructing a global social movement, a “collective actor constituted by individuals who understand themselves to share some common interests and who also identify with one another, at least to some extent” (Stammers 1999). In sum, in the words chosen by the representative of the Kenyan NGO Cemiride in the video, ‘Mungano nguvu yetu’, that is, ‘Our unity, our strength’.