At 10 am, UN TV is live casting a press conference that will include the economist Hernando de Soto and Secretary Albright, the two co-chairs of the United Nations Development Program’s Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor. Tune in here to watch the release of a report the two co-authored called Making the Law Work for Everyone, which takes the novel approach that legal remedies must be harnessed in the fight against global poverty. Here is a teaser:
The majority of the world’s poor live their lives outside the rule of law, without the basic legal protection that recognizes their homes, assets and hard work. Without property rights, they live in fear of forced eviction. Without access to a justice system, they are victims of corruption and violence. Without enforceable labor laws, they suffer unsafe and abusive work conditions. If they own an informal business, they cannot access the legal business protections that entrepreneurs in the developed world take for granted — they are locked out of economic opportunity in their own countries and in the global marketplace. Many are unregistered from birth, and have no access to basic public services. Outside the law, the ability of the poor to create wealth is frustrated; without access to justice, their dignity is violated.
In its forthcoming report entitled “Making the Law Work for Everyone,” the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor will call on national governments and international institutions to make legal empowerment a key pillar of the anti-poverty agenda. Specifically, the report makes concrete recommendations about how nations, multilateral institutions and civil society can come together to empower the poor in ways that allow them to lift themselves from the grips of poverty. Within the context of a scaled-up international effort to meet the MDGs, a real commitment to the Legal Empowerment agenda constitutes a powerful and dynamic tool in the assault on global poverty.
Check the Commission’s website at 10 am est for the full report.