Prof. Philip Alston Issues Statement on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
October 17, 2014

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Professor Philip Alston, CHRGJ Faculty Director and Co-Chair, and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, stated that the “Biblical notion that ‘the poor will always be with us’ remains true only as long as the international community’s approach to poverty eradication is based on charity and discretionary governmental handouts, rather than on recognition of a human right to social protection.” The UN estimates that over 2.2 billion people are either near or living in ‘multidimensional’ poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. “If poverty is ever really to be eradicated, States will need to adopt a human rights-based approach and to place the right to social protection at the centre of their anti-poverty policies and programmes,” said Professor Alston. In his forthcoming report to the General Assembly, he calls on the international community to back the very widely endorsed joint United Nations Social Protection Floor Initiative that aims to guarantee basic income security and access to essential social services for all.

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