August 3, 2018, New York, NY – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) was granted official special consultative status last week with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), which gives CCR the ability to access and contribute to a wide range of UN bodies and mechanisms. With its new status, CCR will be enabled to deepen its years-long UN advocacy for international human rights in partnership with allies, as well as open new channels for its on-the-ground partners and clients to affect UN decision-making on critical political, social and economic issues.
“After five years of presenting our credentials to the UN and responding to questions about our track-record of challenging power from States who don’t like scrutiny of their own records, the Center for Constitutional Rights welcomes the decision to grant it special consultative status said Katherine Gallagher, CCR Senior Staff Attorney. “With official ECOSOC status, CCR looks forward to deepening its engagement with UN bodies and facilitating access to key international debates and meetings for our partners and allies at this moment when international solidarity is crucial to counter the global attack of human rights.”
Advocacy to the UN has been an integral part of CCR and its partners’ wide-ranging international human rights work to push for recognition of the rights and dignity of all persons and communities and accountability for human rights abuses of the U.S. government, corporations, and other state and non-state actors. CCR has brought U.S. racial justice issues to be investigated by the UN as a part of the Universal Periodic Review Process, from discriminatory policing practices to surveillance of Muslim communities, and come with survivors of U.S. torture and war crimes to testify before UN bodies to push for accountability. Efforts have also included strengthening legal repercussions for corporate human rights abuses, from Blackwater in Iraq and Abu Ghraib to Palestine, and pushing for accountability from the Vatican for widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence by clergy.
ECOSOC granted the special consultative status nearly five years after CCR first submitted the application in September 2013. The process for non-governmental organizations obtaining consultative status has come under scrutiny by civil society groups around the world who cite challenges to their acceptance, particularly when the NGOs work is critical of the state actors who make up the decision-making body, and their political, social or economic agendas.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.