Committee Reports

Poverty is the gravest human rights challenge facing the world today. With a staggering 40 per cent of the world’s population living with the reality or the threat of extreme poverty, and one in five persons living in a state of poverty so abject that it threatens survival, 1 a world free from want and fear, is still a distant aspiration.

The recognition that the way poor people are forced to live often violates their human rights – or that promoting human rights could alleviate poverty – was a long time in coming.

The Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights are the first global policy guidelines focused specifically on the human rights of people living in poverty.

In June 2011, the Human Rights Council, the main United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights, endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Guiding Principles had been developed by the then Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

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