For the first time in history, the handbook translates a set of United Nations (UN) principles on human rights and poverty situations into action points that we all can use to affect change. Spearheaded by Franciscans International and ATD International, with support from Irish Aid through Misean Cara, and Edmund Rice Development, dozens of grassroots organisations worldwide, and individuals with a lived experience of poverty, have created a handbook to make human rights work for all.
“This handbook expresses in a practical way all the work Franciscans International does around the world to affirm the human rights of poor communities, and bringing their voice to the UN and other bodies,” says Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster, “you will see it is grounded in a real respect for those living in extreme poverty. Effective and transformative Human Rights work is fundamentally about challenging structures, which undermine people’s dignity. It seeks to address and change these structures and engage and mobilise people in doing so.”
The handbook received wide international acclaim at its international launch in September 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. With more than 100 attendees from international development organisations, representatives from the EU, and embassies welcomed the handbook as a resource built from the bottom-up with consultations from communities it seeks to help.
“When the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, Franciscans International and ATD International agreed that we needed a handbook to translate the legal language of the Guiding Principles into concrete s uggestions,” says
ATD International’s Vice-President Janet Nelson, “we want to help people working at the local level to better understand the human rights implications for people living in extreme poverty and to propose a series of affirmative actions to claim their rights.”
It is envisaged that the handbook will be disseminated through the far reaching networks of Franciscans International and ATD International. These networks will ensure that it reaches community workers and organisations working with those living in extreme poverty.
“We feel that the approach set out by the handbook is vitally important if we are to make real progress on Goal Number One of the new Sustainable Development Goals recently adopted by the UN in New York: ‘End poverty in all of its forms everywhere,’” says Janet Nelson.
Handbook “Make Human Rights Work“