Human Rights Day, 10 December 2006 - Fighting poverty a matter of obligation not charity

Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights
challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and
exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend
on how rich a country is.
By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation,
the world will have a better chance of abolishing this
scourge in our lifetime...
Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.

Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights



Poverty is a cause and a product of human rights violations


It is probably the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Yet, poverty is still rarely seen through the lens of human rights. Many ingredients go into making poverty, but factors like discrimination, unequal access to resources, and social and cultural stigmatization have always characterized it. These “factors” have another name: the denial of human rights and human dignity.


“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Article 25 (1), Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights Day - 10 December 2006

Background documents