History of GRIPP
In October 2019, ATD Fourth World UK held a conference to launch their report Understanding Poverty in All Its Forms which was the culmination of three years of participatory research exploring the changing nature of poverty. The event was hosted by Amnesty UK and bought together many individuals and groups campaigning on social justice issues focused on poverty and human rights.
In January 2020, Amnesty UK, ATD Fourth World UK UK, Just Fair, RAPAR, Thrive Teesside and University of Essex Human Rights Centre came together following the conference to explore how they might want to work together to gain recognition of the fact that poverty in the UK is a violation of human rights. The Poverty and Human Rights project, as it was called at that stage, planned to hold a two-day conference in October 2020. Its aims were to:
- Build & re-establish connections between people working on poverty & human rights across the four nations of the UK;
- Gain new skills and develop existing ones, enabling people to carry out their work, networking, advocating & campaigning in a more effective manner;
- Increase confidence to carry out work on poverty & human rights;
- Develop understanding of the relationships between poverty & human rights in the UK;
- Start the participatory processes to gather data and identify the key issues for the 7th review of the UK by the UN committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights.
In March 2020, the beginning of the Covid pandemic restrictions slowed the project’s work. Through regular meetings online, organisations and activists grappled with how to plan and prepare for such an event. Over time, as the realities of the pandemic slowly hit, plans were adjusted and the “Building a Human Rights Bridge out of Poverty” project was launched – a series of workshops and events over 10 months to meet the original aims. The Bevan Foundation and the Social Rights Alliance also joined at this stage.
The Rights Bridge events involved people from across the UK, sharing knowledge and experience of campaigning, policy and advocacy work in the areas of human rights and poverty. The whole journey is captured in the “RightsBridge: The Story So far…” report here.
This short video shows the opening of the events series:
Following the year of working together, members of the #RightsBridge project, as it had become known, gathered for a day of reflection in London in October 2021. We concluded that the partnerships forming were powerful and we still had work to do – namely the 5th original aim of engaging with the ICESCR process still remained.
The challenge had been laid down in last event (#RightsBridge: Can we create meaningful involvement in the ICESCR Review?) and a few months of grappling with the ideas of how to engage with the ICESCR process, whilst staying true to our overall mission, values and beliefs has bought us to the present GRIPP in Action project. Read more about that here.
More of GRIPP’s history and development can be understood through our 2020 and 2021 blogs here.