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Expert Workshop on “A Rights-Based Approach to Poverty Reduction: Experiences and Lessons from Asia and Europe”

Governance

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Project Period:
09 Sep 2024
Venue:
Bangkok, Thailand
Theme:

BACKGROUND

Poverty undermines economic and social rights as the right to health, adequate housing, food and safe water, and the right to education, which are fundamental and indispensable rights for human dignity. A person who lives in poverty faces a range of interdependent deprivations, including inadequate food, precarious housing, unsafe working conditions, limited or no access to education and health care, lack of political power and unequal access to justice and public life. Furthermore, the multiple deprivations linked to poverty are often mutually reinforcing and associated with stigma, insecurity and other human rights-related issues such as discrimination and social exclusion. The concept of poverty is not new, but it is increasingly viewed in political and legal terms and as bringing into play human rights obligations for a broad range of actors, most especially governments.  A human rights-based approach to poverty reduction helps to formulate and adopt policies and strategies that not only focus on reducing economic poverty but also address underlying structural causes and related human rights violations. Consequently, to be successful in addressing multiple dimensions of poverty, it must be measured in such manner the considers its varying aspects in relation to human rights.

Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues that the world faces today. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of wars in different parts of the world have reversed much of the progress made with global extreme poverty rising for the first time in two decades. Furthermore, the pandemic exposed deep-seated inequalities and significant gaps and inadequacies in social protection coverage across countries, just as climate change threatens to undermine efforts to eradicate poverty and unravel hard-won development gains.

To ensure that progress in global poverty reduction is restored, it is necessary to find more just and inclusive approaches to address the challenges of our unpredictable global environment in line with the transformative promise of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ‘Leave No One Behind’. Furthermore, more should be done to strengthen the integration of human rights and poverty reduction and to facilitate the use of international human rights law in poverty eradication efforts.

By inviting various perspectives from Asian and European civil society, government and national human rights institutions representatives, this 1-day Expert Workshop will bring shared experiences of the challenges underlying the relationship between human rights and poverty reduction and provide a platform to discuss and debate the progress and existing impediments to operationalising human rights-centric approaches to poverty reduction programmes and policies in Asia and Europe.

OBJECTIVES:

By providing a platform for discussion among relevant stakeholders, the expert workshop aims to

  • Examine how poverty can be addressed through international human rights framework and how human rights might be integrated into action on poverty in practice.
  • Identify key obstacles to implementing a human rights-centric framework in poverty reduction programmes and action plans and discuss similarities and differences in both regions.
  • Discuss perspectives from relevant governments, civil society and national human rights institute representatives.
  • Identify areas for capacity-building and alliances between different stakeholders working on poverty reduction and human rights across Asia and Europe.

 

The expert workshop will consist of three sessions, addressing the following thematic areas:

  1. Integration of Human Rights in Poverty Reduction Strategy and Measurement
  2. Poverty Reduction and Those in the Most Vulnerable Situations
  3. Social Protection: A Human Right and Sustainable Development Goal

 

PARTICIPATION AND FORMAT

  • Participants shall be invited as experts based on their experience and work on poverty alleviation and human rights. The expert workshop will be open to experts and practitioners from civil society, academia, national human rights institutions, international organisations and representatives of ASEM Member states.
  • The Workshop is an invitation-only event for which relevant participants are selected by the co-organisers.
  • Working language of the Expert Workshop is English.
  • To register interest or to recommend an expert, please fill out the online form available here.

 

OUTPUTS

The multistakeholder workshop discussion is expected to produce the following outcomes:

  • The identification of national capacities and key hurdles, at both technical and political levels, to operationalise the linkages between human rights and poverty reduction at both policy and programme levels.
  • Conceptual understanding of the interconnections between poverty reduction and human rights, and the cross-cutting issues of gender equality, climate change and vulnerability and other human rights domains.
  • Identification of opportunities and responsibilities in regional and international frameworks to underscore the importance and practical implications of these interlinkages.
  • Solutions and strategies for the enhancement of accountability for greater integration of human rights and poverty reduction.
  • Practical policy recommendations for civil society, national human rights institutes, and governments.

The Workshop recommendations and findings are promoted through e-Publication and Outreach activities and shared with ASEM Partners and other relevant stakeholders.

 

BACKGROUND MATERIAL

 

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP AND CO-ORGANISERS

The Workshop is part of the Informal Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Human Rights Seminar series (ASEMHRS), which aims to promote better mutual understanding and co-operation on human rights issues in Asia and Europe. The Seminar series is co-organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, the Department of the Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.  ASEF’s contribution is with the financial support of the European Union.

The Workshop is organised as part of the 22nd edition of the ASEMHRS, which focuses on human rights and poverty reduction.

For information on the past ASEMHRS activities, please follow this link.

 

 

[i] The international poverty line is currently defined as 1.90 US dollars per person per day.

[ii] https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/goal-01/

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