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 UKATD Fourth World UK UKJust FairRAPAR, 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; 
Image showing that we must help more people make the connection between poverty in Britain and Human Rights and that people in poverty are treated as less than human.
    • 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; 
    Image showing that beyond case studies and academic reports, lived experience brings expert understanding to the UK government. You can't learn hand-to-mouth survival from a text book.

     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.

    Image showing that we must build a bridge out of poverty using rights as our guide, mechanisms and pillars.

    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.  

    Illustration showing that ICESCR helps keep shining the light on the UK government and spotlight when they are not living up to their international obligations.
    Illustration showing that the four regions of the UK need to all get involved and learn from each other for economic, social and cultural rights.

    More of GRIPP’s history and development can be understood through our 2020 and 2021 blogs here.