Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) joined the international community in observing the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2021’ and highlighted that it was crucial to recognize abject poverty as human rights violation and our shared responsibility to mobilize all possible efforts to end poverty across the world.
In a world characterized by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological progress, and financial resources, 689 million people still live in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 a day, which is a moral outrage, the Commission added.
Recalling further the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reversed many years of progress in the fight against poverty (between 88 and 115 million people are being pushed into poverty, with the majority of the new extreme poor being found in South Asian and Sub-Saharan countries where poverty rates were already high), IPHRC emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of extreme poverty as a top priority for the international community.
Despite the global focus on fostering development and eradicating poverty, the pandemic has clearly proven that the world needs structural changes to efficiently eradicate poverty beyond the ambitious political narratives that fail to inspire real action. Accordingly, IPHRC called upon the international community to translate the global focus on human rights protection and SDGs, which has been a central issue for international cooperation, into concrete, measurable actions on the ground to effectively address the core issue of poverty.
The cross-cutting principle of “leaving no one behind,” being one of the most transformative elements of the SDGs, must guide the efforts to eradicate poverty at the national and global levels, the Commission added.
The Commission highlighted that the post-COVID-19 phase should not be guided by the simple need to address the damages inflicted by the pandemic but to transform the structures that could not protect the poor during the crisis. As seen in most cases, the measures imposed to limit the spread of the pandemic often pushed the poor into more poverty by virtually shutting down the informal economy, which enabled them to survive.
Accordingly, the Commission urged all governments to strengthen their legal framework of human rights that places human dignity at the heart of policy and action against existing structural disadvantages and inequalities. Similarly, people living in poverty must be meaningfully engaged in decision-making processes that directly affect their lives, it added.
While recognizing the emphasis placed by the OIC on the joint efforts to eradicate poverty, especially based on the RtD framework, the Commission urged the OIC Member States to redouble their efforts to devise human rights-based people-centered socio-development policies. It recalled that eradicating poverty is a moral and spiritual imperative of Islam as it is a strategically beneficial goal for all Member States’ political, economic, and social progress.
IPHRC also emphasized the international community’s collective responsibility to create a conducive socio-economic environment for the enjoyment of human rights by all persons around the world. It reiterated that human rights and SDGs are mutually reinforcing; hence, the achievement of the common objectives of SDGs and the ICESR, i.e., to eliminate poverty, will be a milestone along the journey to realize the human dignity of every person as enshrined in the UDHR.