For Human Rights Beyond Borders

Human Rights have been locked up behind domestic bars to prevent their universal application to globalization and its much needed regulation. Extraterritorial obligations (ETOs) unlock human rights.

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The ETO Consortium

The ETO Consortium is a network of some 80 human rights related CSOs and academics. ETOs is short for extraterritorial obligations, the human rights obligations of states towards persons outside their territories. These obligations have so far been underused, even though they are crucial for addressing the challenges of globalization. 

The purpose of the ETO Consortium is to address the gaps in human rights protection that have opened up through the neglect of ETOs. The Consortium mainstreams and applies ETOs. Major terms of reference are the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an international expert opinion issued in September 2011 by experts from universities and organizations located in all regions of the world including current and former members of international human rights treaty bodies, regional human rights bodies, and former and current Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This international expert opinion can serve as a source of international law according to art.38 of the Statutes on the International Court of Justice. 

ETO Consortium organizes its work in focal groups according to thematic issues and to geographical regions. It is led by an elected steering committee with representatives of CSOs and academics from the different regions of the world. The secretariat of the steering group is currently at FIAN International. You can reach it via

The ETO-Consortium was set up in 2007 and held its first meeting in Geneva. It held various international conferences and regional events, and advanced ETOs in various contexts. CSOs  and academics interested in membership should contact the ETO secretariat. Consortium members will use the ETO Principles in their day-to-day work individually and in cooperation, seeking new avenues to address some of the most pressing problems in the field of ESCR.