Cash transfer programmes - Independent Expert on human rights and extreme Poverty

The Independent Expert focused her first thematic report on a human rights approach to cash transfer programmes. The report analysed the impact of cash transfer programmes on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by people living in extreme poverty and provided recommendations on cash transfer programmes from a human rights perspective.

For the purposes of this study, cash transfer programmes consist in the provision of direct financial support to households living in poverty in order to increase their monetary income. Usually, the transfer aims at improving the conditions of groups that are particularly vulnerable to poverty such as children, elderly people and people with disabilities. In some cases, the transfer of resources is conditional to the fulfillment of education, health or nutrition targets by the beneficiaries (referred to as “conditional cash transfers”).

Frequently perceived as an effective tools for poverty eradication, particularly because of their capacity to reduce economic inequalities and break the inter-generational transmission of poverty, cash transfer programmes have been implemented in all regions of the world with the support of Governments, international organisations and civil society. In several cases, these programmes have been implemented as the flagship programmes of governments' social and poverty reduction policy. It is for these reasons that the Independent Expert considers necessary to look at them from a human rights perspective.

The preparation of the report relied on the contribution of entities implementing and evaluating cash transfer programmes in different regions of the world as well as information provided by human rights organizations. Both governmental actors and civil society are invited to provide information on their evaluation of existing initiatives. The expert will also seek to focus on these programmes during her first country visits. Click here to read the report: E F S A C R

Questionnaire to member States

In October 2008, a questionnaire to member States has been sent to all governments to collect detailed information on the different initiatives implemented around the world. The questionnaire covered five main aspects of CTPs: (i) the legal and institutional framework; (ii) the extent of funding and coverage; (iii) implementation procedures; (iv) monitoring mechanisms and complaints procedures; and (v) studies and evaluations. Download the electronic version of the questionnaire: E, F, S. To see the responses received click here: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Guatemala and Annex, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Oman, Peru, Qatar (English version), Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia.

Expert meeting on cash transfer

The Independent Expert led a meeting organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Cash Transfer Schemes and Human Rights. Twenty-eight experts from governments, NGOs, UN departments and agencies, and academic institutions from across the world attended the meeting. At this meeting, participants analyzed CTPs from a human rights perspective. Click here to read the concept note of the meeting.