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Call for submissions: Thematic report to the UN Human Rights Council "Eradicating poverty in a post-growth context: preparing for the next Development Goals"

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Last updated

19 March 2024

Closed

Submissions now online (See below)

Purpose: To invite all interested governments, civil society organizations, academics, international organizations, activists, corporations and others, to provide written input for his thematic report on “Eradicating poverty in a post-growth context: preparing for the next Development Goals”.
Background and Objectives

The Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, will focus his report to the 56th session of the Human Rights Council on the role of economic growth, understood as an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in the fight against poverty. The report intends to explore “post-growth” approaches to poverty eradication that move beyond GDP, and will consider whether and how development pathways guided by human rights can support the search for such alternative approaches.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present economic growth as essential to fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Development Agenda. Under SDG 8, which relates to decent work and economic growth, target 8.1. directs national efforts to "sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries". The associated indicator, 8.1.1, is the annual growth rate of real GDP per capita.

However, the SDGs themselves are nuanced about the contribution of economic growth to the 2030 Development Agenda. First, a number of Goals (including SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production and SDG 13 on climate action) refer to the need to take into account planetary limits in designing development strategies. Secondly, SDG 10 includes a target (10.1) to "progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average". Together, these goals mean that if growth is to be pursued, it should be growth that contributes to sustainable development; and growth that primarily benefits low-income earners. This is also the reason why Goal 17 on the means of implementation of the SDGs and the revitalization of a global partnership for development includes a target on the development of “measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product” (target 17.18).

The report therefore intends to explore how the eradication of poverty can be delinked from the pursuit of economic growth that damages the environment, increases inequalities, and narrows down democracy. The report will also consider how human rights can guide the search for alternative development pathways as the world prepares the post-2030 Agenda.

Key questions and input sought

Against this background, the Special Rapporteur invites all interested governments, civil society organizations, academics, international organizations, activists, corporations and others, to provide written input for his thematic report on one or more of the following issues:

  1. Has your government designed measurements of social progress that complements GDP, in accordance with target 17.18 of the SDGs? If so, what alternative indicators were designed and how? Have such measurements accounted for unpaid care, reproductive, and household work and, if so, how?   Which mechanisms, if any, have been established to increase accountability towards improving the performance of the State according to such indicators? Please share any lessons learned from the use of such alternative measurements of progress and associated monitoring mechanisms.
  1. Which measures have been adopted, if any, to ensure that growth primarily benefits the bottom 40 per cent of the population, in accordance with SDG target 10.1? Have other tools to assess progress towards the reduction of inequalities been designed and implemented?
  1. Which obstacles did the State encounter in its search for development pathways not dependent on economic growth, consistent with its economic sovereignty and the prioritization of the well-being of the population? Which enabling international environment should be established in order to encourage the search for such alternative development pathways?
  1. The way societies conceive of work, relate to the environment, and finance their economies and welfare systems locks them into growth-oriented economic models. What measures should be taken to overcome such growth dependencies in each of these areas? And how can human rights guide efforts to overcome such self-reinforcement?

The Special Rapporteur would appreciate receiving answers to these questions before 15 January 2024, so the information collected can inform the report prepared for the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

How and where to submit inputs/comments

Please send your contributions in English, French or Spanish to [email protected]

In order to ensure accessibility of information submitted for persons with visual impairments, submissions are preferred in Word format, not in PDF.

Please indicate “Submission to HRC56 report” in the email subject line.

Please limit your contributions to a maximum of 2,500 words and, if necessary, provide links to relevant documents or attach annexes.

Your contribution should be sent by 15 January 2024.

Treatment of inputs/comments received

All submissions received will be published on OHCHR websites, except where confidentiality is explicitly requested.

Inputs Received

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