Born in Goa, India, Maria Virgínia Brás Gomes is a senior social policy adviser in Portugal’s Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security and UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee Member.
In addition to her work with the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Virgínia is a Member of the International Board of PWESCR (Programme for Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights); of the European Social Network high level advisory group on de-institutionalisation; of the UNRISD Advisory Group for the project on Linking Social Protection and Human Rights; of the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee; and of Portugal’s National Human Rights Commission.
As part of her training activities on economic, social and cultural rights, in 2008, she was a faculty member of the Nottingham University Human Rights Law Centre Summer School; in 2009, of the UNDP Global Human Rights Community of Practice Meeting; and from 2011 to 2014, of the yearly Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has also conducted training in treaty body reporting on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a number of African States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has presented on social security and social development issues, and on economic, social and culural rights more generally, at a number of international conferences and seminars.
Virgínia’s publications include The Future of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Individualisation and the Crumbling of the Welfare State, published by Palgrave Macmillan; Human Rights and Development: the two sides of the same coin, published by Iboorberg Verlag GmbH & Co, KG; Multicultural Europe: combating racism and intolerance, published by the French National Consultative Commission for Human Rights; Discrimination, Mega Development and Conflict: The Insurmountable Triangle, published by Duncker & Humblot; The right to work and rights at work: gender implications, published in the Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations, 86, by Wolters Kluwer and New European Asylum Procedures: One step forward, two steps back? published by the Global Studies Institute and Geneva University.
The 55th session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considers the reports of Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Mongolia, Thailand, Ireland, Chile and Uganda.