23 July 2010
Put human rights at the heart of the global fight against poverty

Millions of people continue to face a daily struggle to live in dignity. In 2000, countries around the world agreed to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a global initiative to eradicate poverty by 2015.

Ten years on - five years from the deadline - these goals are still not a reality.  Progress has been made, but it has been unequal. Goal five on improving maternal health, for instance, is the most off-track of all of the MDGs.  Hundreds of thousands of women and girls continue to die in pregnancy and childbirth each year, and most of them live in the poorest countries and communities.

No solution to poverty will have any long-term impact without human rights at its core.  At the United Nations MDG Summit in September, world leaders will decided on a plan of action to step up their fight against poverty.

Join Amnesty International to make sure that human rights are at the heart of the MDGs and the global fight against poverty

Dear MDG Summit Presidents,

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most prominent global initiative to address poverty.  But 10 years on, progress on the MDGs has left many behind.

MDG 5 to reduce maternal mortality is a key example.  Women and girls continue to face discrimination and inequality that increase their risk of maternal mortality.

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended, to make real progress, all efforts to meet the MDGs must put human rights at the centre.

This includes reaching the most excluded, empowering women, ensuring the participation of people in poverty and holding governments to account.

Protecting the rights of people living in poverty is an essential piece of any solution.  I urge you to ensure that human rights are at the heart of the global fight to end poverty.  The world cannot wait any longer for action.

Image: Fatimata N, 20 years old proudly holds her first born child in Kiembara where she gave birth a few days before. © Anna Kari

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