United Nations Webinar on Poverty-based Discrimination

Un event on Poverty-Based Discrimination

United Nations 60th Commission for Social Development

Side-event: Dignity for all in practice: overcoming poverty-based discrimination

Friday, February 11th, 2022  11:30am -12:45pm (EST) on Zoom.

Open to the public, register here.

Poverty-based discrimination

Poverty is not about income alone. Recent international participatory research from ATD Fourth World and the University of Oxford shows that discrimination is part of the daily experience of people in poverty.

As with racism, sexism, or homophobia, discrimination is an unjustifiable difference in how people are treated. Although less well known, poverty-based discrimination is an obstacle for people trying to access health care, education, housing, employment, etc.

  • In fact, the social and institutional mistreatment of people in poverty often leads to a vicious cycle of stereotyping, prejudice, and stigmatization. The resulting exclusion contributes to the persistence of poverty from one generation to the next.

Issues and Speakers

Speakers at this side event include Activists with a lived experience of poverty from Burkina Faso and Ireland, and academics working on poverty-based discrimination. In addition, academics and Member State representatives will discuss solutions that include laws prohibiting discrimination based on social status.

The side-event will address the following questions:

Why prohibit discrimination on grounds of socio-economic disadvantage/poverty?
What are the implications of prohibiting discrimination on grounds of socio-economic disadvantage/poverty?
What can we learn from country-level experiences?


  • Mr. Andrew Kelly, Activist with ATD Fourth World in Dublin, Ireland
  • Prof. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and Professor of law at SciencesPo and UCLouvain
  • Prof. Diane Roman, Jurist and Professor of public law at the Sorbonne University, Paris, France
  • Mr. Gouba Ousseini, Activist with ATD Fourth World in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • HE Ambassador Mr. Frank Tressler, Permanent Mission of Chile to the UN


  • Prof. Sandra Liebenberg, Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

The event is Co-organized with Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Olivier de Schutter and the NGO Committee on Social Development.

More on poverty-based discrimination:

ATD paper, “Discrimination on the basis of socio-economic status

Does it only happen to me” on discrimination in Ireland

Watch “Don’t say where you are from”, a new video on poverty-based discrimination in Europe

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