Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
Purpose of the mandate
For those living in extreme poverty, many human rights are out of reach. This mandate was created to:
- Give greater prominence to the plight of those living in extreme poverty
- Highlight the human rights consequences of the systematic neglect to which they are subjected.
About the mandate
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights first established the mandate on extreme poverty in 1998. It was taken over by the Human Rights Council, which replaced the Commission, in June 2006. Through its resolutions 8/11 and 53/10, the Human Rights Council requests the Special Rapporteur to examine and report back to member States on initiatives taken to promote and protect the rights of those living in extreme poverty, with a view to advancing the eradication of such poverty.
Current mandate holder
Professor Olivier De Schutter (Belgium) was appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights by the Human Rights Council at its 43rd session, in March 2020. A Professor of Law at UCLouvain and at SciencesPo (Paris), Mr. De Schutter was the Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008 to 2014, and a member of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights between 2015 and 2020. Prior to those appointments, he was Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
Calls for Input
The Human Rights Council adopted the Guiding Principles at its 21st session in September 2012. These were the first global policy guidelines focusing specifically on the human rights of people living in poverty. They are intended as a practical tool for policy-makers to ensure that public policies and poverty eradication efforts reach the poorest members of society, respect and uphold their rights, and take into account the social, cultural, economic and structural obstacles to human rights enjoyment faced by persons living in poverty.
Latest thematic reports
A/78/175: Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter - The working poor: a human rights approach to wages
A/HRC/53/33: The employment guarantee as a tool in the fight against poverty - Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter
Latest country reports
Events and conferences
5 December 2023: Caritas 30th anniversary