Skip to main content
Available in EnglishEspañol

UN Special Rapporteur Calls for the Application of Rights-Based Public Policies

13 June 2013|News

See photo galery

United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, called for public policies to be focused on overcoming the structural obstacles that prevent the poorest from enjoying their economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), at the end of a seminar today in ECLAC.

At the International seminar on indicators for economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and follow-up to social policies to overcome poverty and achieve equality, which was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Chile's National Human Rights Institute (INDH) on 12 and 13 June, Ms. Sepúlveda insisted that States move from human rights rhetoric to implementing rights-based public policies.

According to the senior UN official "This approach must seek to transform social dynamics and prevent the most powerful agents from placing their own interests above the needs of the most vulnerable [...] Poverty should not be seen as a lack of economic resources, but rather in a multidimensional way, as the lack of the basic capacity to lead a decent life".

The seminar also involved Martín Hopenhayn, Director of the ECLAC Social Development Division, Lorena Fries, Director of INDH, Humberto Henderson, Deputy Representative of the Regional Office for South America of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and Laura Pautassi, independent expert on the Working Group to Examine the National Reports Envisioned in the Protocol of San Salvador.

Panellists emphasized the importance of accountability as a guarantee of transparency in the implementation of government actions. According to Mr. Hopenhayn "Latin American countries need to use monitoring mechanisms for international agreements so that they can translate them into public policies. Indicators can be used to build State policies that offer a road map".

On 4 June 2012, OAS approved a resolution in which States Parties to the Protocol of San Salvador (in force since 1999) undertook to submit national progress reports on the application of economic, social and cultural rights by using indicators on social security, health and education.

The countries to have ratified the Protocol of San Salvador to date are Argentina, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and Suriname have acceded to the Protocol.

Press contact:

ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section.
ECLAC headquarters: Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3477, Vitacura, Santiago.
E-mail:, Telephone: (562) 2210 2040.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.