Webinar: [Covid and Human Rights] Economic, social and cultural rights

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve into a protracted public health crisis. We will discuss: what should governments and policymakers be doing to better address economic, social, and cultural rights?

We will also discuss, as “pandemic fatigue” kicks in, whether or not the window of opportunities to catalyze more ambitious structural reforms is slowly closing. Finally, we will talk about the extent to which human rights laws, mechanisms, and principles are useful for advocates and other actors to tackle injustice in the areas of housing, water, food, and work.

Join the discussion!


On Zoom (webinar) Sign up here


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

9:00a.m. – 10:30 a.m. CDT
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EDT
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. CEST

With whom

Meet our panel:


Martha Davis

Martha F. Davis is University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is a faculty co-director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy.

Davis’s publications include Human Rights Advocacy in the United States (co-author) and Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (co-editor). She is co-editor of the Human Rights at Home Law Profs Blog and an affiliated scholar of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.


Amanda Lyons

Amanda Lyons, JD, is the Executive Director at the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches a course on Poverty and Human Rights.

Her research and advocacy work has focused on human rights and development, the human right to water and gender justice. Prior to joining the University she worked with human rights organizations in Brazil, Colombia, and the United States.




Balakrishnan Rajagopal

Balakrishnan Rajagopal is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. He is Associate Professor of Law and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). There he founded the Program on Human Rights and Justice and the Displacement Research and Action Network. He is a lawyer by training, and an expert on many areas of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, the UN system, and the human rights challenges posed by development activities.

Pedi Obani

Pedi Obani is Assistant Professor at the University of Bradford School of Law and Visiting Researcher in Water Security, Policy, and Governance at the University of Leeds. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Nigeria. She was previously a senior lecturer in the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Benin and has worked with a wide range of actors on sustainability, human rights, and gender inclusiveness.







Sanchita Banerjee Saxena

Sanchita Banerjee Saxena is the Executive Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies and the Director of the Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley. She is the editor of Labor, Global Supply Chains, and  the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after  Rana Plaza (2019) and author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments and Textiles Industries (2014). She teaches classes on business, labor and global supply chains at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.



Ana María Suárez Franco

Ana María Suárez Franco is  the  permanent  representative  to  the  UN  in  Geneva  for  FIAN  International.  She works closely with communities affected by violations of the right to food and has coordinated FIAN’s COVID- related work. Ana María is also a leading member of the ETO Consortium, centered on the Maastricht Principles on the Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Hero image: Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

The agenda

  • Moderators welcoming and introducing the panelists

5-7 minutes presentations by:

  • Balakrishnan Rajagopal
  • Pedi Obani
  • Sanchita Banerjee Saxena
  • Ana María Suárez Franco• Q&A
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