Fighting Poverty at the Limits of Law and Human Rights
Nunovero, (2010). "Fighting Poverty at the Limits of Law and Human Rights" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.
This Law degree final paper examines how Law and Human Rights emerge from Peruvian extreme poverty contexts where “Juntos” Peruvian government program is implemented. Following an inductive and qualitative methodology, I conducted a 5 month fieldwork in Totora, a poor village of Peruvian Andes. As an activist of an Italian humanitarian organisation, I participated and observed the dynamics of local poverty and local development as well as the impact of Juntos program on them. Phenomenological analysis based in the review of Legal Anthropology and Human Rights literature revealed that Juntos program isn’t really relating poverty, law and human rights within a humanizing perspective because it fails to promote social and legal status of poor people and development through the engagement of social and law practitioners with vulnerable people, ultimately through the construction of a humanized Law where ideal and reality converge. This paper is divided in three chapters. In the first one, it tackles poverty as a multidimensional and local problem as well as poverty in Peru. Next, it describes Totora population basic needs verified through my experience as well as “Juntos programme” as a Peruvian government response to these needs. The second chapter is devoted to explain how Law and Human Rights appeared in this context. Presents some ideological deformations: poverty as a social stigma, poverty as an absolute denial of Human Rights, Law as a complete and efficient system and Law as an unilateral demand, this part of the paper argues that, in poverty context, Law emerge as a local and autonomous normative practice and Human Rights as the efforts of many Totota inhabitants who struggle for better living conditions. Finally, the paper concludes that Juntos program isn’t really relating poverty, Law and Human Rights within a humanizing perspective, neglecting some development policy goals: to humanize the legal status of poor people and to promote equality and development through the engagement of law practitioners with vulnerable people. Further, research on crusade against poverty, requires Law and Human Rights definitions where ideal and reality converge.