On September 21st, FI and ATD Fourth World launched the Handbook on Making Human Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty at the UN in Geneva, and unveiled the accompanying video Extreme Poverty: Standing Up For Rights, that illustrates the types of situations in which the handbook can be used. A crowd of 100 people committed to a human rights based approach to extreme poverty gathered for the event, combining NGOs, human rights experts, diplomats, and many of those who contributed to the handbook and video.
The launch gave an opportunity for some key players in the fight against extreme poverty to express their appreciation for the handbook and their intentions to support, promote, and use it in their work. All lauded the fact that the handbook was based on consultations with those communities it seeks to help. Many, such as the representatives from the EU and Ecuador, and the Ambassador of Italy, noted the timing of the launch coinciding with the adoption on September 27th of the new Sustainable Development Goals, the first of which is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” They committed to using the handbook as a tool for eradicating extreme poverty. Sr. Deborah Lockwood, President of the Conference of the Franciscan Family, affirmed she would support the handbook’s implementation by encouraging Franciscans to see how human rights are vital in the work to fight poverty.
Francesca Restifo and Janet Nelson, leaders of the process for their respective organisations, Franciscans International and ATD Fourth World, succinctly shared the approach and content of the handbook, underlining the human-rights based approach and the community consultations that undergird the entire handbook. “This handbook is first and foremost for those people we consulted at the grassroots,” affirmed Ms Restifo. “It reflects their concerns and their issues, and offers concrete and applicable suggestions to their situations.”
What now? FI and ATD Fourth World plan to disseminate the handbook and video to their networks of community workers and NGOs working in the field with those living in extreme poverty. FI plans to develop training material and support workshops in the field, so as to have an even wider-reaching impact.
Download your copy of the handbook:
Watch the movie (ENG) here.