Making the Law Work for Everyone: the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor Report ~ Nanang Public Area

07 January 2009

Making the Law Work for Everyone: the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor Report

Making the Law Work for Everyone: the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor ReportThe spectre of poverty and the resultant suffering from want and fear have been realities for so long that poverty is often deemed to be a natural and inevitable part of the human condition. In earlier times, when the struggle merely to survive was paramount for most people, this conclusion seemed reasonable, perhaps even unavoidable. In our era, however, we have every possibility to make economic opportunity broadly available.

In the last six decades, more wealth has been created than in all previous history. No longer can it be argued that poverty is natural or inevitable. Though many have shared in this prosperity, far too many of the world’s people have been left behind, still living in deprivation, taking talent unused to the grave. Sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals and extreme poverty persists on every continent. Statistics abound of the number of people that live in extreme income poverty, no matter how hard they work.

And lack of income is just one dimension of poverty. This Commission argues that four billion people around the world are robbed of the chance to better their lives and climb out of poverty,because they are excluded from the rule of law.

Whether living below or slightly above the poverty line, these men, women, and children lack the protections and rights afforded by the law. They may be citizens of the country in which they live, but their resources, modest at best, can neither be properly protected nor leveraged. Thus it is not the absence of assets or lack of work that holds them back, but the fact that the assets and work are insecure, unprotected, and far less productive than they empowerment of the key to unlocking vital poverty and build a more Executive Summary might be.

There are further vulnerabilities, as well. Indigenous communities may be deprived
of a political voice and their human rights violated. In addition to exclusion based on their poverty and their gender, poor women may also be denied the right to inherit property. In our own era then, vast poverty must be understood as created by society itself.

In too many countries, the laws, institutions, and policies governing economic, social, and political affairs deny a large part of society the chance to participate on equal terms. The rules of the game are unfair. This is not only morally unacceptable; it stunts economic development and can readily undermine stability and security. The outcomes of governance – that is, the cumulative effect of policies and institutions on peoples’ lives – will only change if the processes of governance are fundamentally changed.

Read this report at UNDP official website

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