Report on extreme poverty and human rights (A/HRC/29/31), submitted by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Author: Philip Alston
Year: 2015
PDF of Resource

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights focuses on the relationship between extreme poverty and extreme inequality and argues that a human rights framework is critical in addressing extreme inequality. In the report, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of the widening economic and social inequalities around the world; illustrates how such inequalities stifle
equal opportunity, lead to laws, regulations and institutions that favour the powerful, and perpetuate discrimination against certain groups, such as women; and further discusses the negative effects of economic inequalities on a range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The Special Rapporteur also analyses the response of the international community, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to the challenge of extreme inequality, finding that human rights are absent in the inequality debate and little has been done to follow up on any of the studies or recommendations emerging from the United Nations human rights system.

To conclude, the Special Rapporteur proposes an agenda for the future for tackling inequality, including: committing to reduce extreme inequality; giving economic, social and cultural rights the same prominence and priority as are given to civil and political rights; recognizing the right to social protection; implementing fiscal policies specifically aimed at reducing inequality; revitalizing and giving substance to the right to equality; and putting questions of resource redistribution at the centre of human rights debates.

Link to report (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish)


Social Protection and Human Rights