Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Handbook

Guiding Principles Handbook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland: September 21, 2015: Making Human Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty: A Handbook for Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. See PRESS RELEASE.

A practical tool for enabling vulnerable families and communities to access their rights.

For perhaps the first time in history, a set of United Nations principles has been translated into concrete suggestions for everyday people to take action. Spearheaded by Franciscans International and ATD Fourth World, dozens of grassroots organizations worldwide, as well as individuals with a lived experience of poverty, have created a handbook to, as the title suggests, make human rights work for all.


This handbook is a practical tool for social workers, policy makers, civil servants, law enforcement officials, teachers, health care providers, and human rights advocates working at the local level to ensure that public policies reach the poorest members of society and respect and uphold all their rights. I am convinced that it can help to create an enabling environment in which people living in poverty are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty.

–Magdalena Sepúlveda, former UN Special Rapporteur
on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

The launch of this unique handbook will take place on Monday, September 21, at 6:00pm CET in the exhibition space in front of Room XX at the UN in Geneva. Speakers will include ambassadors from both developing and developed countries, as well as organizational representatives who worked on the handbook. The event will also feature a preview of the compelling video, Extreme Poverty: Standing up for Rights, which highlights vulnerable communities working together to claim their rights.

With the upcoming United Nations vote to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the first of which is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” – this handbook provides a tool for reaching this goal through a participative, rights-based approach.

Download the handbook Making Human Rights Work
for People Living in Extreme Poverty