Much Ado About Poverty: The Role of a UN Special Rapporteur
Alston, P., Khawaja, B., & Riddell, R. (n.d.). Much Ado about Poverty: The Role of a UN Special Rapporteur. Poverty and Social Justice, Forthcoming
10 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 30, 2019
This article explores the challenges involved for a United Nations Human Rights Council independent expert, or ‘Special Rapporteur’, in investigating and evaluating the situation of people in poverty in a wide range of countries, given the diversity of contexts, factors, and resource availability that inevitably arise. As a case study to illustrate the main issues, the article takes a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the November 2018 visit to the United Kingdom by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Attention is paid to the process, outcomes, and responses by civil society, policymakers, and the public. It then considers whether human rights is a useful lens through which to address poverty, and whether an outside human rights expert has much to contribute in a wealthy country with a vibrant academic community, civil society, and media.
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