Human rights - Prime weapon against poverty
Poverty is not having access to basic needs, as defined in international conventions and covered by the commitments undertaken by the
majority of nations. So poverty is a violation of human rights. This situation makes promoting the rights of the very poor and defending human rights a major line of thrust for international
Examples of human rights:
Underdevelopment and poverty have many faces: hunger, disease, unemployment, economic insecurity, no access to drinking water and education. But discrimination based on gender, age, language, ethnic origin or religion is also frequent, resulting in exclusion, humiliation and defencelessness, insecurity and the fear of physical violence.
As a result, a two-pronged attack is needed to combat poverty: recognition of the rights of the poorest and reinforcement of their role as active citizens, combined with support for the efforts of government authorities to ensure better respect for and protection of human rights – be they education, access to medical services, participation in democratic debate or drinking water supplies. The SDC implements a policy that closely resembles that of the United Nations to achieve these objectives
The SDC focus: Rights covering education, health, water supplies, gender equality and the integration of minorities
In the field, the SDC backs projects and programmes that support the advancement of civic and political rights, involving access to justice, democratization and the opening of the media. It works on such issues in countries as different as Peru, Bolivia, Rwanda, Niger, Bangladesh and Viet Nam, as well as in certain sensitive regions like the Balkans, South Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
The Agency also encourages gender equality, the social integration of minorities, protection of the rights of mothers and children and the empowerment of marginal groups in their fight against discrimination. In the war on HIV/AIDS, the SDC also calls to mind that access to medical care is a human right too.
On the international stage, the SDC is committed to fostering an integrated approach on human rights and cooperates with international organizations on addressing the most pressing question, namely including minorities in poverty-reduction strategies, aspects of decentralization and human rights, globalization and human rights issues or social justice.
Theme contact: Jean-François Cuénod
Additional Information and DocumentsDocuments
- Evaluation 2004 - SDC’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Guidance Documents
Influence, Effectiveness and Relevance within SDC
Download (PDF, 799 KB) : [en]
- SDC Human Rights Policy
Towards a Life in Dignity: Realising Rights for People
Download (PDF, 142 KB) : [de] [en] [fr] [it] [es]
- Menschenrechte, Armutsreduktion und nachhaltige Entwicklung
Die Arbeit der DEZA im Bereich Menschenrechte
Download (PDF, 75 KB) : [de]
- Interview with Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Progress in the field of Human Rights
Download (PDF, 45 KB) : [en]
- Human Rights and Development: Learning from Experiences
Report of the Capitalisation Conference, 2006
Download (PDF, 1393 KB) : [en]
- Interview with Nataša Kandic, Serbian human rights activist
On the ocassion of the Traverse event on the 11 december 2007
Download (PDF, 100 KB) : [de] [en] [fr]
Articles and Press releases