: Protect and promote the rights of people 
living in poverty

Protect and promote the rights of people 
living in poverty

Kate Donald
Human Rights

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda, has urged States to embrace and use the Guiding Principles on extreme poverty and human rights, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council by consensus on 
27 September 2012.

‘The adoption of these Principles represents an explicit recognition by States that the desperate situation of people living in extreme poverty is an urgent human rights concern,’ said Ms Sepúlveda, who drafted the guidelines on the basis of a decade of international consultations.

Ms Sepúlveda explained that the Guiding Principles highlight specific rights whose enjoyment by persons living in poverty is particularly limited and obstructed, and in relation to which State policies are often inadequate or counterproductive. ‘The Principles respond to the significant social, cultural, economic and structural obstacles that people living in poverty face, which prevent them from enjoying their rights and put them at increased risk of discrimination, stigma, violence, ill health and lack of education, further entrenching and exacerbating the cycle of poverty through successive generations.’

The adoption of the Guiding Principles on extreme poverty 
and human rights marks the end of a long process of consultation and drafting that began in 2001, when the then 
UN Human Rights Commission first proposed the elaboration of such guidelines.

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/A-HRC-21-39_en.pdf

KATE DONALD is Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

(2012) 37(4) AltLJ 282
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living in poverty

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