50th session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
Joint statement by Action Canada for Population and Development and the Center for Reproductive Rights
Thank you, President,
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
As the Special Rapporteur’s report clearly states, millions around the world face serious barriers to social protection benefits or a complete lack thereof, especially those most marginalized who therefore are most in need of social protection.
As the report is focused on this phenomenon, its causes and consequences for both states and right-holders, we must emphasize that it is the latter who see their rights and lives negatively affected. States are responsible for guaranteeing this right and should be held accountable for their failings in this regard. States must take measures to overcome the serious gaps reported, such as the lack of awareness of benefits, lack of information, complex procedures and stigmatization of those who claim their benefits.
It should be recognized and addressed, that these gaps and barriers involve, among other aspects, unhelpful approaches, unclear procedures and discrimination based on gender, racism, xenophobia, ageism, ableism or classism. It is also important to emphasize the threat that capitalist economies pose to social security, through the privatization of their systems, labour precariousness, informal economies or the appropriation of resources.
The Special Rapporteur’s visit to Lebanon highlights the impact of neoliberal policies on extreme poverty. We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s assessment that the economic crisis was entirely avoidable and is the direct result of government policies, total impunity of the banking sector, and concentration of power and resources at the hand of the ruling elites. The socio-economic crisis, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Beirut Port Explosions of 2020, disproportionately affect women and girls, human rights defenders denouncing the rampant corruption of the government, and marginalized groups such as migrant workers and refugees.
We call upon states to take measures regarding social security policies with an intersectional approach aiming to address all forms of discrimination and acknowledging the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of communities. This would be an important step towards the realization of social protection as a human right recognized by international human rights instruments and law.