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Our Themes

Equidem is governed by a Board of Trustees who are responsible for effective governance including legal compliance, financial stability and transparency, strategic direction and performance and impact evaluation.

Equidem’s Chief Executive Officer reports to the Board and is responsible for overseeing implementation of the charity’s strategies and workplans. The CEO is responsible for the operation of Equidem with support from a management team consisting of a Chief Operations Officer, Head of Program, Fundraising Manager, and a Comms Manager. Grassroots and human rights expert staff in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East lead on individual human rights projects.

Our Themes

Equidem analyse findings against international and national human rights and labour rights standards and develop concrete, practical recommendations on how to address identified problems. We work in Africa, Asia the Middle East and Europe with United Nations agencies and other international non-government organisations (INGOs). Investors and multi-national businesses, civil society and trade union groups.

Programmes of work within each thematic area will be framed by:

  • the disproportionate impact of hidden human rights violations on marginalised groups
  • situating abuses against these groups in the wider, global context of anti-racism, anti-discrimination and gender equality
  • progressing Equidem's strategic goals and alignment with the strategic decision-making criteria.

Our Areas of Focus

Programmes and projects will respond to the gaps and needs Equidem uncovers from our work with communities and will be developed in dialogue with affected communities, partners and thematic experts from different disciplines and sectors. Together we will identify the problems and explore potential solutions to pinpoint Equidem’s added value as a direct contributor, capacity builder and connector.

Broad issues we focus on include:

  • Migrant workers & labour rights: continuing well-established investigations of and non-advocacy against forced labour, modern slavery, discrimination, recruitment practices & remittances, non/underpayment of wages, coercion and reprisals, restrictions on movement and association, unsafe working/living conditions), corporate responsibility; investigating new and emerging issues including child labour, gender-based violence and discrimination, physical abuse, worker deaths, reintegration of workers, post-conflict impact on livelihoods, and examining the evolution of labour organising, future of work and implications for rights of marginalised and minority communities.
  • Business & human rights: investigating human rights abuses in supply chains, especially implicating major brands and mega-projects with significant international business investment; exposing state-business nexus in serious human rights abuses; assessing the efficacy of rights protection regulations; educating corporations on human rights responsibilities; articulating the business case for protecting worker rights.
  • International accountability: exposing abuses by state and non-state actors who act with impunity; identifying spaces where human rights protections can be enforced to hold powerful perpetrators to account, enforce protections and access remedy; supporting human rights defenders to document safely, advocate strategically, and support victims professionally with a particular focus on fair trials and protection from torture, accountability for security force impunity, and enforced disappearances.
  • Climate change & human rights: investigating and exposing the impact of climate change on human rights with a particular focus on how climate change will impact the future of work, climate-induced migration and implications for migrant workers, and the climate impacts on those least responsible for causing it; golding states to account for exacerbating climate change and responsible for mitigating the effects of climate change in ways that respect human rights.
  • Covid-19: taking the acute pandemic and ongoing impact of Covid19 as a lens that has exposed and exacerbated existing inequality and exploitation, and as a force changing geopolitics and socioeconomics, including the global labour market, in ways as yet unclear.
  • Protection of human rights defenders: continuing to employ and partner with human rights defenders (HRDs), further develop Equidem’s work to support HRDs who work in sensitive and high-risk, high-demand environments, with a particular focus on professionalisation, evidence-led non-political advocacy and campaigns, and sustainability/risk mitigation support.
  • Social & economic rights: situating work in the above thematic areas in the context of economic and social rights and developing a focused area of work, economic and social rights; addressing human rights impacts beyond the individual including workers’ access to health, education and other public services, discrimination in the delivery and provision of economic and social support by state authorities and private enterprises; focus on the right to food, to adequate housing, to health, to water and sanitation, to social security.
Our Strategy