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International Human Rights Day

Christian Aid believes that at poverty’s core lies the misuse of power by unequal power relations within and among countries and within and among groups and individuals.

We are working with partners worldwide to inform people about their rights and advocate for these rights to be upheld. 

All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms, yet, more than sixty years on after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the struggle for these principles to be universal continues. 

Social exclusion, discrimination in access to resources, exclusion from decision-making and exploitation of vulnerable women and men are important reasons for the persistence of poverty.

Discrimination on the basis of gender, class, caste and ethnicity persists, leading to the exclusion of large groups of men and women.

Government policies often reflect the interests of sectors holding power and are too seldom oriented to the interests and needs of vulnerable and marginalized.

Health, education, social services, taxation and subsidy systems, property rights and their legal protection are often tilted in favor of local elites.

For the poor, access to health and education, to a functioning legal system, to land-registration systems, to justice and appeals mechanisms are often limited.

International policies can also contribute to or exacerbate existing local forms of social exclusion and foster poverty for example, trade policies can have a direct impact on the income of poor producers.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which came into force in 1948 and the conventions that all countries signed, underpin a good deal of the international development agenda and will continue to be at the core of Christian Aid’s work.


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