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Poverty Reduction and Human Rights: A Practice Note

By: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

This UNDP Practice Note discusses the integration of Human Rights and Poverty Reduction in development programs. Human rights instruments – such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – provide a coherent framework for practical action – at the international, national and sub-national levels – to reduce poverty.

Integrating human rights in poverty reduction strategies does not so much change ‘what’ is to be done as to ‘how’ and ‘why’ activities are undertaken. By applying a human rights-based approach to poverty reduction, UNDP aims to strengthen its policy, programming and capacity development support to program countries. In particular, it will:

1. Encourage all actors to adopt a human rights-based approach in tailoring and customizing the MDG targets to the local context.
2. Focus on the capacities of duty-bearers to meet their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill rights; as well as the capacities of rights-holders to claim their rights.
3. Enhance the synergy between poverty reduction and democratic governance. Programs for local governance, access to justice, capacity of human rights institutions, grassroots initiatives for community development, and human rights education will be included among pro-poor poverty programming.
4. Engage in the work of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies; particularly strive to incorporate selected and relevant recommendations that result from periodic reviews into its program development.
5. Promote and support participatory assessment methodologies that link rights, obstacles and strengths around which poor people can secure their livelihood.
6. Build in-house capacity to undertake multi-disciplinary reviews and analyses that maximize meaningful participation of the poor.

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Uploaded on: Feb 25, 2014
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
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