(7 December, 2006) Poverty is both a cause and a result of human rights violations. Low income can prevent people from accessing education - an economic and social right - which in turn inhibits their participation in public life - a civil and political right - and their ability to influence the policies affecting them. Still, poverty is rarely seen through the lens of human rights.
To address this, the connections between human rights and the reduction of poverty will be the focus of International Day for Human Rights 2006, celebrated annually on 10 December. In Chile, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), will commemorate this day on Monday, 11 December, 2006, at 11:30 am., at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago (Raúl Prebisch room, Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3477, Vitacura).
The theme for this year's ceremony will be: "The Fight Against Poverty: A Matter of Obligation, Not Charity." It will include presentations by José Luis Machinea, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and Carmen Rosa Villa, Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean of the UNHCHR. Chile's Minister of the Presidency, Paulina Veloso, will also speak.
Press kits are available in various languages on the UNHCHR website, covering the following:
Poverty is characterized by factors - like discrimination, unequal access to resources, and social and cultural stigmatization - which governments and those in a position of authority can, and indeed are obligated, to do something about. All States have ratified at least one of the seven core international human rights treaties, and 80 per cent have ratified four or more. Human rights obligations require that governments give priority to the well-being of their population by addressing the fundamental causes of poverty. Arguing a lack of resources does not absolve governments of their responsibilities.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. Every year since then, the international community observes Human Rights Day.