• 14 février 2013
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Guiding Principles on extreme poverty adopted

Une volontaire avec une amie du Point-Coeur de Bangkok

On the 27th of September 2012, the Human Rights Council has adop­ted by consen­sus the draft of gui­ding prin­ci­ples on extreme poverty and human rights [1] pre­sen­ted by the Special RapporteurMs. Magdalena Sepulveda.

These prin­ci­ples are the result of 10 years of work. They high­light two ele­ments that we consi­der essen­tial :

  • Extreme poverty is in itself a violation of human rights ; it is the result of violations of human rights ; and it can become a cause of violations of human rights.
  • The poor themselves must be the primary agents of the transformation of their lives.

Indeed, the link bet­ween extreme poverty and human rights illus­tra­tes the inter­connec­tion of all rights. If extreme poverty is reco­gni­zed in the gui­ding prin­ci­ples as cons­ti­tu­ting in itself a vio­la­tion of human dignity (ina­bi­lity to lead a decent life, obs­ta­cle to the par­ti­ci­pa­tion in the social, poli­ti­cal and cultu­ral life), it can also be the result of vio­la­tions of human rights (when the right to edu­ca­tion is not res­pec­ted, for exam­ple) and can gene­rate new vio­la­tions (child labor, pros­ti­tu­tion, eco­no­mic exploi­ta­tion ...). This is why the fight against extreme poverty implies the imple­men­ta­tion of all human rights.

One of these rights is the right to par­ti­ci­pa­tion in poli­ti­cal, social and cultu­ral life. The gui­ding prin­ci­ples indeed focus on the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of those concer­ned in poli­cies to fight against poverty. The docu­ment says :

"States must ensure the active, free, infor­med and mea­ning­ful par­ti­ci­pa­tion of per­sons living in poverty at all stages of the design, imple­men­ta­tion, moni­to­ring and eva­lua­tion of deci­sions and poli­cies affec­ting them."§ 38

Points-Coeur consi­ders it par­ti­cu­larly impor­tant that people living in poverty are at the center of the fight against poverty. Indeed, it is not pri­ma­rily to improve the sta­tis­tics of States in res­pect to poverty, but to allow each poor person to contri­bute fully to impro­ving their own life and to be an actor in their own des­tiny, with a view to the deve­lop­ment of the whole person.

In addi­tion, the effec­ti­ve­ness of poli­cies to fight against poverty will be increa­sed if the advice and expe­rience of those most affec­ted is taken into account, as regu­larly recalls ATD Quart monde, an NGO which is very com­mit­ted to the adop­tion of these prin­ci­ples.

Wishing to sup­port this par­ti­ci­pa­tory approach, Points-Coeur, with the help of its volun­teers in the field, wrote a report on the theme of "the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of people living in poverty in deci­sions that affect their lives." This is a contri­bu­tion to the work of Ms. Sepulveda, who asked States, NGOs and civil society to pro­vide infor­ma­tion. It can be consul­ted here.

This report is avai­la­ble here : In French In English

Ricardo et Georgina, amis du Points-Coeur de Santa Fe - Argentine


[1] document

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