On 27-28 January the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights organized a two-day seminar on the draft guiding principles (DGPs) on extreme poverty and human rights: the rights of the poor. This seminar discussed the practical utility, the technical legal merit and the way forward of the draft guiding principles in implementing existing human rights norms and standards in the context of the fight against extreme poverty. The seminar brought together about 100 participants, including human rights experts, State and UN representatives and civil society organizations.
It follows previous consultation rounds, which were held among government representatives and civil society organizations. For example, NGLS, in collaboration with OHCHR and NGO partners, launched an online consultation and circulated a compilation of the results of the consultation in October 2007. But also some NGOs, such as Baha’i International Community and the International Movement ATD Fourth World have been very active to promote and contribute to the DGPs. The International Movement ATD Fourth World not only held consultations with people living in extreme poverty, but also brought together various NGOs to work on text of the Principles and to make sure that the views of people living in extreme poverty were reflected throughout. See also NGLS’s previous reporting on the seminar (OHCHR: 27-28 January Seminar on DGPs) and the DGPs (Ongoing Activities). OHCHR combined all the views and opinions of these various consultation rounds into a single background paper, which served as input for the seminar. This report is available online.
The International Movement ATD Fourth World, in their summary report on the seminar, expressed their satisfaction as they stated that “The text was discussed in its entirity during the seminar and there was an equality amongst the participants, with equal time and opportunities given to anyone who wanted to take the floor. This enabled a truly interactive debate in which the NGOs present played an important part.” To read their summary document, including some participants’ opinions on the seminar, click here.
The seminar brought some consensus among government representatives regarding the DGPs and their way forward. They agreed that the Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty would draft the final text of the DGPs, including more practical recommendations to States and other stakeholders as well as the adjustment of the DGPs to existing international human rights standards.