Labour rights that are enforced can make the difference between keeping or losing a job. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Legal empowerment of the poor
Last updated: 11/4/2009 //
The Second Committee of the General Assembly has endorsed making Legal Empowerment of the Poor an integral part of the fight against poverty. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Norway, reinforces efforts by UN Member States to give poor people the legal tools to break out of poverty.
The resolution will contribute to expanding the support of the UN Development System to those efforts.
Four billion people do not have access to the rule of law. Living outside of the shelter of the law makes it harder to escape poverty. For example a poor person may obtain a loan and make small investments if his or her property is registered and property rights are respected. Labour rights that are enforced can make the difference between keeping or losing a job.
The concept of Legal Empowerment of the Poor had not previously been considered by the UN General Assembly (GA). That’s why last year's Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to inform deliberations among UN Member States.
It followed up on a Commission chaired by Madeleine Albright and the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto. It presented the case that Legal Empowerment of the Poor should be a key ingredient in the fight against poverty in a report last year.