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Home >> Resources >> External publications >> Change, Hope and Justice

Change, Hope and Justice

July 19th 2018

Handbook on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Poverty

Change, Hope & Justice is EAPN’s latest handbook which aims to strengthen members’ capacity to act against poverty and Human Rights violations. It is hoped that the Handbook will inspire organisations - but also Governments, National Human Rights Institutes and Equality Bodies, & public, private and not-for-profit service providers - to include Human Rights as the basis and aim of their work, as a new lens to look at poverty.

A Task Force mandated by the EU Inclusion Strategies Group to look into poverty as a Human Rights violation, finalised this Handbook in March 2018. It is aimed primarily at EAPN members, be they National Networks or European Organisations, and it aims at elaborating on the relation between poverty and Human Rights in Europe, to deepen EAPN’s understanding of poverty and social exclusion as a violation of Human Rights, and to strengthen members’ capacity to act against poverty and Human Rights violations.

The handbook aims to:

  • Understand and define how poverty and social exclusion can be treated as a Human Rights issue
  • Make this understanding operational in EAPN’s fight against poverty and social exclusion and develop EAPN’s capacity to work on poverty and social exclusion as Human Rights issues
  • Gather examples of how Human Rights instruments have been used to combat poverty and social exclusion by the EAPN membership and other stakeholders
  • Strengthen EAPN members’ capacity to contribute to the general discourse and debate about poverty as a breach of Human Rights, including to reports which Member States are required to submit to United Nations bodies and to European institutions
  • Explore the possibility of taking collective legal action against Governments for their failure to combat poverty and social exclusion, and hence guarantee Human Rights.
  • The fight against poverty and Human Rights are not two distinct projects, but projects that reinforce each other. A Human Rights-based approach means that norms and principles of Human Rights law should play a major role in tackling poverty and guide all public policies affecting persons living in poverty.

The Handbook is structured under the following four headings, plus an additional Annex contains useful references and more detail of Human Rights instruments and tools:

  • Understanding poverty and social exclusion as a violation of Human Rights
  • Overview of main Human Rights instruments relevant for the fight against poverty and social exclusion
  • Applying the rights-based approach to anti-poverty work: tips and tools for EAPN members
  • Taking legal action against Governments for failing to fulfil Human Rights

Via EAPN website