Poverty and Inequality in Societies of Human Rights:
the paradox of democracies
- Proposals for an inclusive society -
FIRST DAY: Thursday 21 February 2013
8:30 Welcome Coffee and Registration
9:00-9:15 Welcoming Words and Political Perspectives
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
9:15-9:45 Results of the European Convention on Poverty and the future EU strategy
Commissioner, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
9:45-11:45 Opening Plenary: Combating Poverty or Inequalities?
Gilda Farrell (Council of Europe)
Emma Toledano (European Commission)
Magdalena Sépulveda (UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights)
Claudia Menne (ETUC)
Guy Standing (University of Bath, United Kingdom)
Luciano Gallino (University of Turin, Italy)
Peter Kenway (New Policy Institute, United Kingdom)
Emilio Santoro (University of Florence, Italy)
- – – Coffee Break – – -
12:00-12:30 Renewing the strategy to fight poverty and inequalities: strategic guidelines
Presentation of the Guide
Alessandra Sciurba (University of Palermo , Italy)
- – – Lunch – – -
3 PARALLEL WORKSHOPS
a) How should Human Rights be implemented to protect people from poverty?
To what extent is poverty a violation of social, civil and political rights?
Speakers: David Joyce (European Roma Rights Centre) / Johannes Gerds (Consultant to the Council of Europe) / André Gachet (FEANTSA, France) / Renzo Segala (Avvocato di Strada, Italy) / Philippe de Craene (Front Commun SDF, Belgium, and European Union of Homeless)
Moderator: Diane Roman (University of François Rabelais, Tours, France)
Background: Human rights are the most powerful instrument that occidental societies have elaborated in order to protect the dignity of people who are considered as human beings, without juridical, social or economic discrimination. Nevertheless, nowadays, the formalization of human rights does not suffice to grant their effective application. Growing poverty is a cause and a consequence of the violation of social, but also civil and political human rights. In a context of crisis, the lack of guarantees and actions to respect, protect and implement human rights in their indivisibility, universality and equality in the content for all become visible, particularly when the discussions on the future focused on financial issues, whilst deepening inequalities in accessing rights.
Objectives: This workshop aims to underline the potential and the main limitations of the human rights framework with respect to the fight against poverty, and to point out through concrete examples the deep and bi-univocal relationship existing between poverty and violations of human rights. The idea is to develop concrete proposals to reinforce the current framework of human rights so that it effectively protects against poverty. To overcome the perspective of “poor rights for poor people”, the workshop will explore innovative solutions to make effective the guarantees of universal rights, i.e. equality in access and in the content for all.
b) How can the voices of people experiencing poverty influence democratic processes?
What factors hinder people from participation?
Speakers:Ternura Rojas, Indignados Movement activist (Spain) / Ilona Tomova (Institute for Population and Human Research, Bulgaria) / Rune Herlin Kamstrup (Council of Marginalized People, Denmark) / ATD-Quart Monde* / Esther Gatera (All African Women’s Group, United Kingdom) and Christel Amiss (Black Women’s Rape Action Project, United Kingdom)
Moderator:Dirk Berg-Schlosser (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)
Background: Contemporary crisis has had effects on Democracy. Democratic processes are weakened, while at the same time there is a shift in power from the political to the economic and financial sphere. In this context, an important part of the population is marginalised and loses confidence in the institutional capacity to manage transitions. The reactivation of a democratic participatory path, that includes migrants and minorities, has to be a fundamental part of the contemporary fight against poverty.
Objectives: This workshop aims to stress the risk of legitimating “defensive” strategiesagainst those most poor and marginalised (xenophobia, racism, etc.). The idea is to explore new democratic paths and processes, bearing in mind the necessity to give value to the skills and experiences of every actor, including people that are currently excluded. How to de-stigmatize the strategies that fight poverty, so to recognize the contribution and dignity of every person?
c) Who pays and who benefits from the crisis?
Growing inequalities in accessing resources and its consequences
Speakers: Cédric Rio (Inequality Watch) / Christina Samartzi (Médecins du Monde, Greece) / Andrij Waskowycz (Caritas, Ukraine) / Renato Carmo (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal) / Adeline Otto (Solidar)
Moderator : Faiza Shaheen (New Economics Fundation, United Kingdom)
Background: The current economic crisis does not stem from the exhaustion or lack of resources. Rather, it is due to its unsustainable polarization. Public budgets are now covered with tremendous efforts by low and middle classes. Austerity measures, which increase taxes on consumption and cut welfare state budgets, have further worsened the conditions of people experiencing poverty. They have also made more precarious the existence of a large part of the population, starting from the youngest, which has resulted in the inability of public institutions to secure equity.
Objectives: The workshop will focus on how citizens and local communities have been affected and have reacted to this crisis and to the worsening of their living conditions. It aims to look at the proposals and means that can be adopted to re-establish social justice in the budgetary policies.
- – – Coffee Break – – -
16:30-17:30 The challenge of mobilizing resources and knowledge at local level,
building a vision of well-being for all: SPIRAL Methodology
Samuel Thirion (Council of Europe)
Persons engaged in setting action plans at local level
* indicates that the presence is to be confirmed