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Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty
Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 entitled "Human Rights Council"
31 May 2007
Arjun Sengupta
United Nations - General Assembly

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website as the source of this report: www.ohchr.org/english


Summary

This third report by the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty builds upon his two earlier reports on extreme poverty as well as his mission report on extreme poverty conditions in the United States, and brings together the observations of the group of experts, which met in Geneva at a Workshop on Extreme Poverty on 23 and 24 February 2007.

In the present report, the independent expert further explores the link between human rights and extreme poverty by outlining the following three considerations that contribute to the distinct value added of viewing extreme poverty in terms of violation or denial of human rights.

In Section 1, the independent expert builds on the existing consensus within the international community on the multidimensionality of poverty, and analyses the different characteristics of the conditions of extreme poverty, namely income poverty, human development poverty and social exclusion, so that they can be linked to the conditions of deprivation of human rights.

Section 2 describes these core characteristics in a manner aimed at achieving an operational definition of the notion of extreme poverty, so that a process of implementation, progress-mapping and monitoring, can be developed in a comprehensive manner. The independent expert further emphasizes the advantage of viewing the eradication of extreme poverty as a human rights entitlement in itself, rather than a mere claim towards the implementation of measures to eradicate poverty, based on the instrumental role of human rights.

Finally, in section 3, the independent expert looks at some of the policy experiences of different countries in a context specific environment, in order to identify and enhance the distinct value added of implementing policies in a human rights framework.

The independent expert is grateful for the research assistance provided by Avani Kapur, Ipshita Sengupta and Reji K. Joseph of the Centre for Development and Human Rights, New Delhi.

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