Behind the scenes with a UN Special Rapporteur

the special rapporteur hears from children in scotland

The Special Rapporteur hears from children in Scotland – © Bassam Khawaja 2018

DSPI's Fran Bennett was one of the experts interviewed last year by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston. Following his initial report, which gained widespread coverage in UK media, Fran wrote a piece reflecting on the process, commenting that Alston 'nails the situation in the UK now with great passion and clarity.'

Now Fran has invited Alston and his team to write a behind the scenes look at his visit, published today in the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, where she is a chair of the editorial board. The article acknowledges the many challenges faced by Special Rapporteurs and stresses the importance they place on strategic engagement with civil society and both traditional and social media throughout an investigation. It looks at the evidence of engagement following the final report in June 2019. Alston and his team conclude that the final analysis of the impact of a Special Rapporteur is in whether the issues they are reporting on are taken more seriously as a result. By these standards, Alston and his team’s visit to the UK made a considerable impact on perceptions of poverty and the actions being taken to alleviate it.

Update: you may also be interested in this blog piece from Transforming Society.

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