UN rights expert warns of pervasive poverty in Chile News
UN rights expert warns of pervasive poverty in Chile

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston [official website] on Tuesday warned [press release] that poverty in Chile “remains under the radar for many policy-makers … despite the country’s impressive array of anti-poverty programs.” Alston noted that although Chile serves as a model for much of Latin America in regards to human rights and social policy innovations, it “continue[s] to tolerate levels of poverty and inequality which are very high for a country belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [official website].” Further, Alston suggested that “Chile’s record on the rights of indigenous peoples represents the ‘Achilles Heel’ of its human rights record in the twenty-first century.” This issue, Alston argued, is paramount to eliminating extreme poverty within the country. Aston called for “a specific, integrated plan” to address poverty, but noted that the Ministry for Social Development is an unlikely source of the needed changes. Rather, Alston posited that “there is a deep need for an entity with the responsibility, authority, funds and resources to coordinate government-wide human rights policies.” A Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Alston argued, would fit these criteria.

Human rights continue to be an important issue [JURIST report] across the globe. Earlier this month the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that more than 6,000 people have died in the Ukraine conflict [JURIST report]. Last month the UN reported widespread human rights abuses in Myanmar and the increasing [JURIST reports] number of deaths in Iraq resulting from the Islamic State. Earlier last month human rights experts from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged [JURIST report] Spanish authorities to reject two suggested legal reformations that they say may disrupt freedom and fundamental human rights.