Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) has joined the international community in observing the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2020’ and highlighted that poverty should be viewed as a deprivation of basic human rights rather than merely a lack of income or resources.
It is a pity that billions around the world continue to face fewer opportunities, countless indignities, unnecessary hunger, preventable deaths and remain too poor to enjoy basic human rights, IPHRC said in a message on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed yearly on 17 October.
According to the latest projections by the World Food Program (WFP), the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may double the number of people facing food crises unless swift action is taken. Under current trends, more than 70 million people are at risk of being pushed into extreme poverty, and hundreds of millions more into unemployment and poverty, and more than 250 million people are at risk of acute hunger. Beyond any measurement scales, the concept of eradicating poverty must be measured at the level of life with dignity.
As rightfully stated by UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston, in his latest report on the subject, the international poverty line is explicitly designed to reflect a staggeringly low standard of living, well below any reasonable conception of a life with dignity.
Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the WFP this year is a manifest recognition that peace passes through fighting hunger and poverty, the Commission added. To enhance poverty eradication policies, IPHRC stressed the importance of adopting human rights approach to poverty alleviation based on the rationale that the poor have not only ‘needs’ but ‘rights and entitlements’, which raises the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill on the part of others as provided in Islamic principles and international human rights and humanitarian laws and covenants.
IPHRC further emphasized the collective responsibility of the international community to create a conducive socio-economic environment for the enjoyment of human rights by all persons throughout the world and underlined the importance of using Right to Development (RtD) as a cornerstone of relevant policies to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions. To this end, IPHRC highlighted the importance of technology transfer and international cooperation at the nexus between humanitarian and development to realize peace and human rights for all. Recalling the adoption of the Declaration on the RtD as a milestone achievement in the quest to realize the promise of ‘freedom from fear and want’ guaranteed in various international human rights instruments, the Commission urged the international community to work together to finalize a binding Convention on the RtD.
While recognizing the emphasis placed by the OIC on the joint efforts to eradicate poverty, especially based on the RtD framework, the Jeddah-based Commission also urged the OIC Member States to redouble their efforts to devise human rights-based people-centered socio-development policies.
OIC Member States should build their relevant strategies and partnerships, based on Islamic values, to enrich and strengthen the mechanisms and measures that will help solve the problem of poverty comprehensively, it added