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A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Copyright  ©  2016  Ariel  Foundation  International  2016  and  Erum  Dahar,  Ruth  Reid   and  Benjamin  Ryder.   August  2016     ISBN:  0-­9964523-­9-­7     Report  written  by  Erum  Dahar  (Special  Rapporteur),  Ruth  Reid  (Special  Rapporteur)   and  Benjamin  Ryder  (Speaker)     Images  provided  by  Erum  Dahar,  Ruth  Reid,  Benjamin  Ryder  and  AFI  Changemaker   Delegates  2016  



A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

"#$%&'()*+),)%-. Firstly, we would like to thank Dr. Ariel King and the AFI Changemakers team for providing us with this opportunity. A forum like the UN Human Rights Council is typically inaccessible for young people like ourselves, and you brought it within reach. Without AFI, we would not have had this opportunity, and this report would not exist. For that, we are inordinately thankful. Secondly, we would like to thank our fellow delegates, who informed and helped us during the research and drafting phases of this report. Finally, we would like to thank all of the friends and family members who supported us in making our participation in the UNHRC and this report a reality.



A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Contents Page   Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………...1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………2 Recognition……………………………………………………………………………………3 Recommendations……………………………………………………………………..4 Institutionalisation……………………………………………………………………………..6 Recommendations..........................................................................................................8 Accountability……………………………………………………………………………..…10 Recommendations……………………………………………………………………10 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………12 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………….13 About the Authors……………………………………………………………………………17


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Executive Summary     Poverty is a global issue, not limited to the UK or the countries reported during the United Nations Human Rights Summit of 2016. Since the Millennium Development Goals of the year 2000, poverty had reportedly halved by 2015 (United Nations, 2016). However, an estimated 9.6 percent of the global population is still living in poverty (World Bank, 2015). The following report seeks to address global poverty and provide recommendations to help tackle it. The authors find solutions in the human rights agenda, more specifically, by advocating a framework to reinforce the human right to live a life free from poverty. To do this, the authors build upon Sir Phillip Alston’s (2016) ‘recognition, institutionalisation and accountability’ framework for strengthening and supporting social and economic rights. Alston’s work is elucidated, bringing to light the details and feasibility of implementing such an approach, with actionable recommendations for policy-makers. The authors find that if the framework and recommendations provided are faithfully implemented; significant and meaningful strides can be made in the fight against global poverty.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Introduction ‘Poverty is the worst form of violence’ - Mahatma Gandhi ‘The international standard of extreme poverty is set to the possession of less than $1 a day’ (UNESCO, 2016). Statistics show that a considerable amount of people over the world are still, in the year of 2016, living on a substandard level of income. The Centre for Economic and Social Rights (“CESR”) (2016) calls poverty “an assault on human dignity”. This is especially true if it is down to failure of state governments. However, as is well known, in order for a solution to come about, people must first recognise that there is a problem to be addressed. Whilst poverty is generally regarded as something that is humanly wrong, it is not substantively universally recognised as an enforceable right within the human rights framework. Poverty lies at the intersection of social, economic and cultural rights. It cannot be regarded as solely an economic issue. It is intrinsically tied to systems of inequality, discrimination and marginalisation. Thus, it has a particular impact on young people and other marginalised and vulnerable groups (Alston, 2016a). At the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council, AFI Changemakers noted that several member states voiced the opinion that extreme poverty is still failing to be recognised as a fundamental human rights principle. AFI Changemakers observed the presentation of the report of Sir Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. He made several recommendations, outlining the Recognition, Institutionalisation, Accountability (“RIA”) Framework (Alston, 2016a). AFI Changemakers have considered and expanded upon this framework to produce recommendations on tackling extreme poverty. In short, following the framework would help to:


ensure that poverty is recognised as a fundamental human right;


establish or promote institutions that champion social and economic rights; and


ensure that violators of this human right are held accountable.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Recognition Before beginning the discussion, it is necessary to lay out the structure of human rights. Firstly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises two distinct sets of human rights - namely, civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. The United Nations (“UN”) adopted two International Covenants containing these rights, thereby transforming the provisions of the Declaration into legally binding obligations. In addition to exploring the relationship between the rights encompassed within the Covenants, this particular section will focus on the issues relating to economic, social and cultural rights, as they are inextricably linked to the prevalence of poverty. Moreover, although there are contrasting views on poverty as a violation of human rights, AFI Changemakers will adopt the position that poverty should be seen as a distinct violation of specific rights for the purposes of this report. (Campbell, 2003) The official status of the Covenants, which dates back to the Universal Declaration and has been reiterated in countless resolutions thereafter, is that the two covenants and sets of rights are, in the words adopted by the 1993 Second World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, ‘universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis.’ (Vienna Declaration, para. 5). Contrary to this formal status, which was reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly in its 2005 resolution creating the Human Rights Council (“HRC”), disagreement exists over the appropriate status of economic, social and cultural rights. One of the arguably extreme views within this debate is that economic, social and cultural rights (‘ESR’) do not constitute rights at all; (Alston, 2008) treating them as rights poses a risk to the enjoyment of individual freedom, inhibits the operation of free markets by encouraging large-scale state intervention in the economy, and even serves to reduce the importance of civil and political rights. (Alston, 2008) AFI Changemakers observed that many Member States at the Human Rights Council adopted a clear stance on ESR. The general position taken by such states was that ESR is of equal importance to Civil and Political Rights, and they expressed support for them. In addition to expressing support for ESR, many developing states also called for the adoption of legislative provisions based clearly on the recognition of specific ESR as international human rights, as well as the creation of effective means of remedy and redress to individuals or groups alleging violations of these rights, which is particularly important for vulnerable groups. These


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 demands align with the legal obligations of state parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”), to take steps, “[…] individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.” (UN General Assembly, 1966) Therefore, state parties should ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under the ICESCR by protecting ESR under municipal law. It was also made explicit by these Member States that sole reliance on political will was an insufficient means to guarantee the protection, promotion and fulfilment of ESRs. Rather, they should be made justiciable and enforceable in practice. Indeed, it is often said that governments of developing states do not have the financial and administrative resources to ensure and protect the ESR of individuals. However, this is arguably an inadequate response in at least some cases. For example, India is the world’s largest producer of non-school attending child workers (Weiner, 1994). This is not because it lacks the resources to enforce compulsory primary school education and child labour laws. Rather, child labour is the outcome of deliberate government policies on primary education, as well as its prioritisation of expanding exports above the ESR of children. Therefore, where economic and social policy is not framed within the language of law and human rights, there is a danger that these rights are left unenforced and that individuals are unaware of the rights-based protection that they are entitled to. According to the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Phillip Alston, this problem is particularly damaging when politicians are reluctant to recognise, or are unaware of, the extent of poverty in their country (Alston, 2016c). On the other hand, where states are genuinely unable to reallocate budgets or alter fiscal policy due to a lack of adequate resources, it is the responsibility of the international community to support such states, and this was also reiterated by numerous representatives at the Human Rights Council.

Recommendations To combat the issues mentioned above, AFI Changemakers recommend that the existence of poverty should be seen as a human rights violation, as opposed to merely unfortunate. Additionally, economic and social rights must be acknowledged as being not only of equal importance to civil and political rights, but also interconnected to them. Indeed, research indicates that terror groups use the existence of poverty – more than religiosity - in


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 host countries to recruit new members (Mousseau, 2011). Therefore, social and economic policy should be acknowledged as coming within the remit of the UN due to its interconnectedness with a variety of human rights, and there should be more coordination between states in the sharing of knowledge, expertise and resources in order to support states that may lack adequate resources. Moreover, ESR should be made justiciable, as constitutional judicial review would provide at least some protection of constitutional social rights, and specialised judges can be trained to analyse and assess budgets reports, as well as seek advice from independent experts (Fabre, 1998). In addition to holding actors within the political sphere accountable for violations of ESR, AFI Changemakers recommend that responsibility also be extended to influential nonstate actors, such as the IMF and multinational corporations (MNCs). MNCs are aware that developing countries are willing to provide large tax allowances in order to attract foreign direct investment, and many of the largest MNCs expand production to these countries in order to minimise labour costs (Koenig-Archibugi, 2004). Thus, non-state actors such as MNCs exercise great influence over governments and their socio-economic policy, and should therefore be held responsible for perpetuating poverty, particularly in developing countries. Furthermore, this report strongly recommends that individuals and groups are educated about their rights and able to meaningfully participate in the creation of social and economy policy. Thus, the ESR of individuals should be empowering in a practical sense, and democracy should be a key element of policy-formation. The youth, as well as other marginalised groups such as the disabled, should be involved in these processes, and be given the opportunity to challenge the cycle of poverty. One way in which this can be achieved is through the provision of human rights education, as it would provide the youth with the knowledge and awareness to challenge the cycle of poverty that they are born into, and would thereby give them greater social and economic mobility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the lack of which was identified by Alston to be a pertinent issue in countries such as Romania and Chile (Alston, 2016b; Alston, 2016c). Government officials and the judiciary may also greatly benefit from human rights education. For example, Alston identified that in Chile, people and politicians were generally aware of the existence of civil and political rights, but many did not know that ESR exists. In doing so, policy on areas such as healthcare, social security and education can consequently be framed in the language of rights and obligations, which would increase accountability in the event of alleged violations of ESR.


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A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Institutionalisation ‘The point is not so much that there is no law against dying of hunger. That is of course, true and obvious. It is more that the legally guaranteed rights of ownership, exchange and transaction delineate economic systems that go hand in hand with some people failing to acquire enough food for survival [...] In seeking a remedy to this problem of terrible vulnerability, it is natural to turn towards a reform of the legal system, so that rights of social security can be made to stand as guarantees of minimal protection and survival.’ (Dreze & Sen, 1989: 20). To effectively tackle global poverty, Alston (2016a) identifies the need to institutionalise social and economic rights. Solely prioritizing social and cultural rights as in the same way that is done with civil or political rights will not guarantee a material change in the structures that perpetuate social and economic rights abuses. By establishing or promoting institutions that champion social and economic rights, the structures that maintain poverty can be undermined and challenged. The effective promotion of economic and social rights can best be achieved through institutionalisation as it is the means by which an established structure of power (i.e. the state) can be organized so as to implement and operationalize what is now, only a discourse of social and cultural rights (Vandenhole, 2014). In the unique position of being able to pass policy, national institutions offer the key for realising and operationalising social and economic rights. As Alston argues, ‘where no institutions are designated to take the lead in implementing a particular human right, the likelihood is that little will be done to treat it as a human right’ (2016: 11). As such, there is an obligation to create, or organize existing institutions, that will integrate social and economic rights into rule of law. Whilst social and economic rights have largely been ignored at the macro level, examples of successful institutionalisation do exist. These cases demonstrate both the feasibility and potential for success that institutionalisation can have in reducing poverty and realizing social and economic rights. These cases demonstrate that the most successful promotion of social and economic rights follows judicial enforcement or constitutional implementation. 1.   South Africa The South African Constitution, and the subsequent jurisprudence developed by the South Africa Constitutional Court point to the effective inclusion of these rights. The South  


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 African Constitution codifies a broad range of social and economic rights, including access to adequate housing; general health and reproductive healthcare services; and sufficient food, water, and social security, including suitable social assistance (Ghai, 2014). Furthermore, Article 27(2) of the Constitution mandates that the state ‘take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of each of these rights.’ (Kumar, 2006: 766). 2. India Furthermore, the Supreme Court of India successfully institutionalised economic and social rights through the expansion of the “right to life” provision in the Constitution of India following the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (HRRC, 2000). By expanding this provision to include areas where there was a direct interaction between law and poverty (as in the case of bonded labour and child labour, and crime and poverty, as in the case of under-trials in jails), social and economic rights were institutionalised to the extent to which they became justiciable (Kumar, 2006: 765) (HRRC, 2000). That said, when 195 constitutions were studied, 90% recognized at least one economic and social right and in 70% at least one economic and social right was explicitly justiciable (Alston, 2016: 12). This points to an apparent paradox wherein the presence of social and economic rights in constitutions does not guarantee legislative or policy outcomes (Alston, 2016, 5). As such, we must move beyond constitutional implementation into institutional implementation. Alston (2016: 13) identifies two actors as being the most effectively placed to promote social and economic rights: the government agencies that are responsible for implementing policy in areas relevant to human rights, and national human rights institutions (“NHRI”). The former is concerned with the organs of government that implement policy with implications upon the realization of the social and economic rights of its citizens (such as education, health and trade). Alston (2016: 14) notes that generally these ministries do not acknowledge economic and social rights when delivering relevant policy. In regard to NHRIs, Kumar (2006: 756) identifies the failure to address economic and social rights. For Kumar, the majority of the focus of the work of NHRIs has been on the protection and promotion of civil and political rights (“CPRs”) and as such, they are perceived as institutions that only respond to violations of CPRs. The international community too has neglected the obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”) with its nearly uniform focus on the International Covenant on Civil and  


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 Political Rights (“ICCPR”) (Kumar, 2006: 757). This has created a situation in which NHRIs are, at best, ‘institutions that function well only when the legal, constitutional, and governance framework respects the rule of law, promotes good governance, and pursues sound development policies’. At worst, NHRIs become ‘institutions that legitimize the functions of the state and do not intervene even when blatant violations of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights occur’ (Kumar, 2006: 758). Alston identifies restrictive or absent mandates, lack of expertise, lack of resources, absence of political support and the complexity of the issues as significant barriers that prevent NHRIs from fulfilling their obligations in promoting social and economic rights (Alston, 2016: 14).Evidence of this is epitomized in the case of Romania, where the NHRI had ‘neither the degree of independence nor the capacity to carry out all of the functions normally performed by such a body’ (Alston, & OHCHR, 2015). Furthermore, Alston recognizes the role of non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) in the promotion of the institutionalisation of social and economic rights. Whilst a considerable number of specialist NGOs have been established with the mandate to promote economic and social rights, the way in which major international NGOs ‘continue to approach economic and social rights in ways that do little to change the marginality of those rights within the field’ (2016: 18).

Recommendations Significant barriers have been identified, and dismantling them will require a coordinated and inter-sectorial approach. Institutional structures must be created to underpin, facilitate and promote economic and social rights. AFI Changemakers thus present two recommendations for promoting the institutionalisation of social and economic rights through the UN system, which are as follows: 1. Strengthening coordination Currently, little coordination exists at the global level to promote effective institutionalisation of economic and social rights. As social and economic rights are often treated as a matter of development (Alston, 2015: 5) (Vandenhole, 2014), outside of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“CESCR”), there exists little means of promoting an issue such as poverty as rights-based. For example, the right to live a healthy, secure life, free from poverty was tackled in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, not under a rights-based framework. As such,


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 increased attention, resources and lobbying efforts should be directed towards approaching subsequent coordination efforts through a rights-based, rather than issue-based, framework. 2. Inter-country and inter-project sharing The process of institutionalising any norm, value or right is often a long and drawn-out process in which the difficulties prevent successful realization. We recommend that the mandate of the CESCR be expanded to investigate and identify ‘best practice’ in the process of institutionalisation of social and economic rights, providing technical assistance for states that are seeking to improve the quality of their social and economic rights provision. This should be supported by states that have successfully institutionalised social and economic rights. Information and expertise on their experience could be invaluable in helping to facilitate the promotion of economic and social rights in other countries. For example, those with stronger NHRIs could seek to collaborate with relevant NGOs to build a network that would promote social and economic rights within ECOSOC.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Accountability The aforementioned institutional structures will mean little without proper mechanisms of accountability to ensure their successful implementation. Many states, despite proposals to, have not implemented the recognition of socio-economic rights in legislative or constitutional form (Alston, 2016a: 4). This may be due to the lack of recognition of extreme poverty as an enforceable human right. Governments should therefore adopt mechanisms of accountability that would make social and economic rights justiciable. Systems of legal recourse must be created so that those whose economic and social rights are unfairly violated can seek redress. There would be little point in setting quotas, creating institutions and aims, if there was no way of holding them accountable for failing to meet these quotas or rights. In order to be effective, accountability should be held at several levels. The following recommendations are a few methods in which states and their institutions could be held accountable for human rights violations relating to extreme poverty.

Recommendations 1. Global Bhatt (2004: 186-187) recognises a connection between a right to livelihood, often unrecognised by states, and the right to life. To deprive one of their livelihood, for example to live in extreme poverty, thus affects their recognised constitutional right to life. A global right should be included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ensure that a universal right is enforced that citizens should not be left to live in extreme poverty. States would be held accountable to the international community as well as their own citizens. Countries with severe problems would be held accountable through the implementation of a remuneration scheme to the individuals whose rights had been breached. 2.   European If the ECHR retains its jurisdiction over a number of member states, the UK included,1 then this above mentioned right should be drafted into European legislation. By having this


This report was prepared surrounding the UK’s vote to leave the European Union and the uncertainty surrounding whether the UK will exit the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights in the pending future.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 overarching court in place, states would be able to exercise some discretion, but an individual would be allowed to appeal to the court for violations of this right by member states. 3. State Each state should specifically legislate the right to live free of extreme poverty. This should also be incorporated in policy on areas such as healthcare, social security and education. This can consequently be framed in the language of rights and obligations, which would increase accountability in the event of alleged violations of ESR. Furthermore, as suggested by Alston (2016b), offices should be created within the Ministry of Justice to hold authority and responsibility for the coordination and monitoring of governmental human rights policies, including those against extreme poverty. This office would be held accountable for human rights violations. Alston (2016a: 11) notes that accountability in principle has already been achieved by the establishment of various committees to monitor such, yet is somewhat limited in practice. The Maastricht Guidelines (1997) stressed the urgency to recognize and deal seriously with government failures to meet the ESR obligations. Governments should be held accountable by citizens via remuneration paid to the individuals affected. There are various ways to seek accountability including: ‘sharing information with the media; using community or peer pressure; collecting and publishing data; complaining to an authoritative body or person; and evaluating and reporting’ (United Nations Children’s Fund, 2015). For example, the Institute for Government (“IFG”) (2016) in 2012-2013 conducted research into central government accountability. They acknowledged that it is widely agreed that those who are ‘responsible for policy-making, implementation and public expenditure’ should be able to be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. Yet in practice, it is still contentious.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Conclusion The three components of the RIA Framework – Recognition, Institutionalisation and Accountability – are essential, but not exhaustive, principles to be considered in forming a strategy to recognise and implement a right to live free of extreme poverty. The recognition of ESR within the political sphere, as well as its enshrinement in legislative provisions and protection by the judiciary, will help prevent governments from adopting fiscal policies that force (vulnerable) groups and individuals into poverty. In order to effectively tackle the issue of existing poverty, it is also crucial that national institutions co-ordinate and organise efficiently through developing epistemic communities whereby knowledge and skills can be shared. Finally, the test of these human rights is whether they are enforceable at law. In other words, for ESR to be truly effective in preventing and tackling extreme poverty, governments need to establish legal mechanisms to hold actors accountable for violations of ESR, as well as provide effective means of redress and remedy to victims of such violations. AFI Changemakers hold that the implementation of these recommendations could help reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty. Furthermore, AFI Changemakers recommend a number of youth-focused projects that could help break the cycle of poverty at an early stage. This includes the creation of career and education opportunities in the form of apprenticeships, scholarships, mentoring within public and private institutions, as well as funding and training for unemployed young people to establish their own businesses. It is therefore important for governments to understand that short-term costs in the form of investment in public projects would have greater long term economic benefits and would not inhibit the growth of their economies – a view that is supported by research. (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011) Additionally, governments may be better able to tackle the effects of poverty among young people by establishing a youth parliament. This would allow young people from a wide variety of (marginalised) groups to participate in the development of important social and fiscal policies that would have far-reaching effects on their present and future. Doing so would also help reduce inequality, which is an inevitable consequence of poverty. Therefore, member states from both developed and developing countries must work to fulfil their legal obligations under the ICESCR, but are advised to do so by implementing the RIA Framework as well as other, more creative means.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Bibliography Alston, P. and OHCHR (2015). End-of-mission statement on Romania, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Available at: E (Accessed: 4 July 2016). Alston, P. (2016a). Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Available at: (Accessed: 4 July 2016). Alston, P. (2016b). Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to Chile. Geneva: United Nations. Alston, P. (2016c) Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to Romania. Geneva: United Nations. Bhatt, M.S. (2004) ‘Poverty and Food Security in India: Problems and Policies’. New Delhi: Aakar Books. Campbell T., (2003) ‘Poverty as a violation of human rights’. Available at (Accessed 24th July 2016). Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) (2016). Poverty and human right– is poverty a violation of human rights. Available at (Accessed 27th July 2016). Dreze, J. and Sen, A. (1989) ‘Hunger and Public Action’, Public Administration and Development, 12(2), pp. 216–218. doi: 10.1002/pad.4230120209. Fabre C., (1998) ‘Constitutionalizing social rights’, Journal of Political Philosophy, Volume 6, Number 3, pp.263-284. Ghai, J.C. (2014) ‘The Justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights in the African regional human rights system: Theory, practice and prospect * national human rights institutions and economic, social and cultural rights’, African Affairs, 113(452), pp. 460–462. doi: 10.1093/afraf/adu032. HRRC (2000) Justiciability of ESC rights - the Indian experience. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 5 July 2016). Institute for Government (“IFG”) (2014). Available (Accessed: 27 July 2016).



A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 Koenig-Archibugi M. (2004). ‘Transnational Corporations and Public Accountability,’ Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics, Volume 39(2) 234-259. Kumar, C.R. (2006). ‘National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Toward the Institutionalization and Developmentalization of Human Rights’, Human Rights Quarterly, 28(3), pp. 755–779. doi: 10.1353/hrq.2006.0035. Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (1997). Available at: (Accessed: 12 July 2016). Mousseau, M. (2011) Urban poverty and support for Islamist terror: Survey results of Muslims in fourteen countries. Journal of Peace Research [Online] vol. 48 no. 1 35-47 doi: 10.1177/0022343310391724 Available at: 12 July 2016). OHCHR (1966) International covenant on economic, social and cultural rights. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2011), Fostering Long-term Investment and Economic Growth: Summary of a High-Level OECD Financial Roundtable, OECD Journal, Volume 2011, Issue 1. Available at: (Accessed 24th July 2016). Sano, H. O. (2014) ‘Evidence in demand: An overview of evidence and methods in assessing impact of economic and social rights’, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 32(4), pp. 387–402. doi: 10.1080/18918131.2015.957469. UNESCO. (2016) Poverty. [Online] Available at: 12 July 2016). United Nations 2016. Millennium Development Goals [Online] at: 12 July 2016).


United Nations Children’s Fund, (2015) Accountability for Children’s Rights: A research mapping of local and informal accountability mechanisms7. Available at: policyanalysis/rights/files/ACR-SPREADS-WEBFILE.pdf. (Accessed: 12 July 2016). UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, volume 993, p. 5. Vandenhole, W. and Gready, P. (2014) ‘Failures and successes of human rights-based approaches to development: Towards a change perspective’, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 32(4), pp. 291–311. doi: 10.1080/18918131.2015.957458. Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) Available at: (Accessed: 12 July 2016). World Bank (2015). World Bank Forecasts Global Poverty to Fall Below 10% for First Time’ Major Hurdles Remain in Goal to End Poverty by 2030.Available at:


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016 poverty-to-fall-below-10-for-first-time-major-hurdles-remain-in-goal-to-end-poverty-by2030(Accessed: 12 July 2016). Yeshanew, S.A. (2014) ‘Mainstreaming human rights in development programmes and projects: Experience from the work of a United Nations agency’, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 32(4), pp. 372–386. doi: 10.1080/18918131.2014.959843.


A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016


Ruth Reid, 26

Benjamin Ryder, 21

Ruth Reid is a trainee barrister, specialising in criminal defence law. She also hopes to establish a practice in international criminal and human rights law. Ruth seeks to operate at a level within the system of law where she can have a greater chance to effectively contribute to and challenge the outcome of decisions and thus help the society in which we live. Ruth also exercises her passions for human rights and the welfare of others through volunteering with Urban Lawyers, writing articles for Amicus ALJ discussing the effects of abuse of power in death row trials and changes of the law and various other voluntary projects. Attending the Summit has further encouraged Ruth to undertake work in human rights and she hopes to be able to return to Geneva in the near future.

Benjamin Ryder is a recent graduate from London, UK. He has recently finished an undergraduate degree in Politics with International Relations at the University of York. Benâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interests lie in the intersection between human rights and international development. More specifically, the development of policy that can protect the human rights of the most marginalised and vulnerable from the more harmful effects of globalisation. He is enormously grateful for this opportunity and is looking forward to continuing his work for AFI Changemakers and the UN. !




A report by Erum Dahar, Ruth Reid and Benjamin Ryder AFI Changemakers August 2016

Erum Dahar, 21

Erum Dahar is a student from Boston, UK. She has recently completed her undergraduate degree in Law at Lancaster University and will be studying a Master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Management from October 2016. Erum is interested in human rights, journalism and advocacy work. She has had numerous jobs teaching children - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – and volunteers in a number of roles (such as at the county court’s witness service, Lancaster Arts, and a number of legal advice clinics). She is currently interning with the British Red Cross and will soon begin a new role in Amnesty International’s student media team. At university, she has occupied various positions of responsibility, such as president of the public speaking society, and is currently postgraduate officer for the Women’s Liberation Campaign and a member of Nightline’s Publicity Team. Extreme Poverty is an incredibly important and pressing issue that Erum witnesses in her hometown in Pakistan. She is therefore grateful for the opportunity to tackle this issue at the UN.!



Report prepared August 2016 Special Rapporteurs Erum Dahar and Ruth Reid!



AFI Changemakers at the United Nations Report on Extreme Poverty 2016  

Prepared on behalf of AFI Changemakers, the report on extreme poverty 2016 explores statistics and discussion around the topic of extreme po...

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