Reimagining rights-based accountability: Community use of economic and social rights

Chelsea Marshall, Kate Ward, Nicola Browne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article explores the ways in which marginalised groups in Northern Ireland have employed and translated for practical use human rights standards, principles and mechanisms to campaign for the implementation of economic and social rights obligations. With the support of Participation and Practice of Rights, a regional nongovernmental organisation, marginalised groups have drawn upon human rights in their local context to campaign on issues related to mental health, housing, work and play. Based on case studies from four such campaigns, this article reviews the practical steps groups took to engage directly or indirectly with economic and social rights tools and mechanisms. The article reflects on the usefulness of these frameworks and mechanisms for achieving change in the case studies discussed, as well as the value of a human rights framework for empowering marginalised communities to make rights-based demands for change. It is argued that although the realisation of economic and social rights is limited in part by the lack of traditional enforcement mechanisms, community driven campaigns offer an opportunity for reimagining mechanisms for rights-based accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalThe Irish Community Development Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Human Rights
  • Participation
  • Economic and Social Rights
  • Accountability


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