United Nations Expert Olivier De Schutter has indicated that abandoning a ‘charity’ approach to poverty is the only effective way to eradicate it.
De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, was at UN Headquarters recently to present his latest report to the General Assembly.
He told Florence Westergard from UN News’s French Language Unit that in many countries, support for people living in poverty takes the form of ad hoc cash transfer systems to prevent extreme poverty.
Nevertheless, De Schutter observed that these schemes are sometimes temporary.
“They do not provide people with entitlements they may claim before independent institutions,” the UN Expert observed.
In addition, he said the financing for such schemes is poor, and they usually have insufficient budgets to cover the needs of the entire population.
And he explained that the targetting of the measures is sometimes very poor.
According to the UN official, many people in extreme poverty lack social protection because they face several obstacles.
He said the obstacles included not being on social registries, not being informed about their rights, and being unable to fill out forms online.
“Poverty should be seen as a violation of human rights,” De Schutter declared.
In his regard, he stated that people in poverty should have access to recourse mechanisms if they are excluded from housing, education, and access to jobs on a non-discriminatory basis, or social protection.
However, the UN Expert acknowledged that this is not easy to achieve in most countries.